The Minnesota Wild rallied to tie the game late against the Capitals on Tuesday, picking up a valuable point as the game went to overtime.
Eric Staal’s goal, with 27 seconds remaining, was immediately contested.
While Washington head coach Barry Trotz may have challenged on his own, the NHL was already planning to take a second look. All plays eligible for a Coach’s Challenge that take place in the final minute of regulation or any time in overtime are automatically reviewed. The league checked for goaltender interference, whether the play was offside when Mikko Koivu gloved the puck to keep it in the zone, and whether the initial zone entry was onside.
Ultimately, linesmen Vaughan Rody and Matt MacPherson sustained the call on the ice. The play was onside. Good goal, Minnesota.
This play was similar to ones we’ve seen earlier this season that seem to be controversial but are consistent in their application of the rule.
A player plays the puck in the neutral zone, directing it across the blue line, as a player already inside the zone skates back to touch up. The entering player refrains from touching the puck until the exiting player has touched up. As long as the entering player doesn’t touch the puck prior to the touch-up, the play is onside.
Effectively, it’s a delayed offside until the Jared Spurgeon touches the puck. By the time he did, Jason Zucker had already reached the blueline to tag up.
From the NHL:
At 19:33 of the third period in the Capitals/Wild game, the Situation Room initiated a review under the terms of a Coach’s Challenge to examine whether Minnesota was offside prior to Eric Staal’s goal.
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with the linesman, NHL Hockey Operations staff confirmed that Jason Zucker tagged up at the blueline, nullifying the delayed off-side, before the puck touched Jared Spurgeon’s stick inside the attacking zone.
Therefore the original call stands – good goal Minnesota Wild
This was the 13th league-initiated challenge for an offside play this season. Twelve of those have confirmed the original ‘onside’ call on the ice. Overall, there have been 107 Coach’s Challenges for offside, with 72 of those upheld (67%).
The Capitals earned their second point as T.J. Oshie score the game-winner 1:52 into the extra session.