Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tyler Johnson’s game-tying goal was confirmed after the officials reviewed the play for a high stick.
Johnson scored at 7:56 into the third period of Friday’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final to even things up at 3-3.
The NHL rulebook has different standards for pucks played with a high stick, depending on whether the puck was batted down or deflected directly into the net.
A puck may be batted down with a stick as long as it’s below the player’s shoulders. On a goal, the point of contact must be below crossbar height.
This is covered in a few places in the official rules. First, Rule 78.5, which covers goals:
Apparent goals shall be disallowed by the Referee … when the puck has entered the net after making contact with an attacking player’s stick that is above the height of the crossbar. Where the puck makes contact with the stick is the determining factor.
Also, Rule 80 – High Sticking the Puck:
When an attacking player causes the puck to enter the opponent’s goal by contacting the puck above the height of the crossbar, either directly or deflected off any player or official, the goal shall not be allowed. The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick. If the puck makes contact with the stick at or below the level of the crossbar and enters the goal, this goal shall be allowed.
The play is subject to video review by the NHL’s Situation Room. Here’s their criteria, from Rule 37.5:
The determining factor for High Stick Video Review is where the puck makes contact with the stick in relation to the crossbar. If the puck makes contact with a portion of the stick that is at or below the level of the crossbar (despite some other portion of the stick being above the crossbar) and enters the goal, the goal shall be allowed.
Note that review is up to the league and officials. Coach’s are not able to issue a Coach’s Challenge for a puck deflected into the net by a high stick, as that’s not a missed stoppage. They can, however, challenge pucks deflected down by a stick above the shoulders.
In this case, the call on the ice was a goal. The video review supported that call, confirming that the puck’s point of contact with Johnson’s stick was below the height of the crossbar.
Referees for the game were Gord Dwyer and Jean Hebert. Linesmen were Steve Barton and Derek Amell.