New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev did everything he could to give the Rangers a chance in Sunday’s matinee against the Washington Capitals.
Unfortunately for the Blueshirts, ‘everything’ included throwing his stick at Washington’s Alex Ovechkin during his shootout attempt.
That’s an automatic goal, per Rule 24.4:
The goalkeeper may attempt to stop the shot in any manner except by throwing his stick or any object, or by deliberately dislodging the goal, in which case a goal shall be awarded.
On-ice referees Francis Charron and Pierre Lambert called it no goal. The two referees conferred with the linesmen and affirmed the no-goal call.
Only when the NHL’s Toronto-based Situation Room sounded the horn to initiate a review did the officials don the headsets to discuss the play
Reirden said the referee initially told him that, from his angle, he couldn’t tell if Georgiev threw the stick (or if it was knocked out of his hand). Then it went to Toronto review.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) March 3, 2019
The NHL automatically reviews all overtime and shootout goals that would be eligible for a Coach’s Challenge, which limits those reviews to goaltender interference and offside. The league also has the ability to review whether the puck crossed the goal line; whether the net was displaced; whether the puck was kicked, batted, or deflected in with a high stick, or deflected off an official.
They can also review for legal hockey goals per rule 38.4 (ix), which is precisely what happened in this case, even though the puck never entered the net:
The video review process shall be permitted to assist the Referees in determining the legitimacy of all potential goals (e.g. to ensure they are “good hockey goals”). For example (but not limited to), pucks that enter the net by going through the net meshing, pucks that enter the net from underneath the net frame, pucks that hit the spectator netting prior to being directed immediately into the goal, pucks that enter the net undetected by the Referee, etc.
From the NHL:
It was determined that Alexandar Georgiev threw his stick during Ovechkin’s attempt. According to Rule 25.4, “A goal will be awarded when a goalkeeper attempts to stop a penalty shot by throwing his stick or any other object at the player taking the shot or by dislodging the goal (either deliberately or accidentally).” In the case of a shootout attempt, all rules for a penalty shot apply (per Rule 84.4).
Therefore, Washington was awarded a goal.
Ultimately, it was the right call. Nice work by the league to assist the officials in getting the call correct.