As an official, you do your best to stay out of the play.
Sometimes, as referee Chris Lee found out, there’s nothing you can do to avoid it.
Lee was hit by a dump-in by the Columbus Blue Jackets, leading to a goal during Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
With the Lightning defense expecting the puck to move behind the net, the sudden change in direction caught them off-guard. Blue Jackets’ defenseman Ryan Murray was able to out-muscle Tampa’s Kevin Shatterkirk and Yanni Gourde for the puck.
That double coverage left Pierre-Luc Dubois wide open below the goal line for a centering pass – and a quick goal – from Murray.
Referees are typically in-play when hit by the puck, though a goal cannot be scored if it deflects directly off the referee and in.
78.5 – Apparent goals shall be disallowed by the Referee […] when the puck has deflected directly into the net off an official.
In this case, the Blue Jackets played the puck, scoring legally on the play.
Lee did not get credited with an assist on the goal.