The Dallas Stars challenged the Golden Knights’ game-tying goal in Game 3 for goaltender interference.
Alex Tuch fired a shot that knotted things up at 2-2 with 7:14 remaining in the third period. The puck deflected off Mark Stone and found its way past Dallas goaltender Anton Khudobin into the net.
Referee Francis Charron emphatically signaled a goal on the ice.
Stars head coach Rick Bowness challenged the play. Vegas forward Mark Stone clearly made contact outside the crease with Khudobin’s right skate. The key factors the NHL’s Situation Room would be looking at were whether contact was made, where the contact was made, and if the defending player was responsible for the contact.
There was clearly contact between Stone and Khudobin outside the crease. It did not appear that Miro Heiskanen pushed into the goaltender. He stood his ground to defend, while Stone moved to gain territorial advantage in the front of the net.
From Rule 69:
Incidental contact with a goalkeeper will be permitted, and resulting goals allowed, when such contact is initiated outside of the goal crease, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.
Of course, that’s contingent on the officials deeming the contact to be incidental, which it appeared to be in this case. Stone was not deliberately attempting to make contact with the goaltender.
Table 16 of the NHL Rule Book, which provides certain example scenarios, confirms the interpretation.
[If] an attacking player makes incidental contact with the goalkeeper at the time a goal is scored [the] goal is allowed.
While the broadcast crew mentioned the contact potentially affecting Khudobin’s ability to play his position, that language only comes into play for contact within the goal crease. As this was outside the blue paint, that no longer applies.
After a brief review, the Situation Room confirmed the call on the ice: Good goal, Vegas.
From the NHL:
After video review, it was determined that the contact between Vegas’ Mark Stone and Dallas goaltender Anton Khudobin was incidental and occurred in the white ice and, therefore, did not constitute goaltender interference. Since the Coach’s Challenge did not result in the original call being overturned, the Stars are assessed a minor penalty for delaying the game.
The failed challenge put the Stars short-handed, but Vegas was unable to capitalize.
Dallas went on to win the game 3-2 in overtime.