The Florida Panthers opened the scoring in Game 1 of their Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday.  Well, almost.

Sam Bennett saw his goal wiped out by referee Kyle Rehman for goaltender interference.



The goal was immediately waved off.  After discussing the play with fellow referee Dan O’Rourke, Rehman relayed the ruling.

“There was no goal on the play,” announced Rehman. “Goaltender was shoved into the crease. Unable to play his position. No goal.”

Rule 69.7 covers goaltenders pushed into the net.

In the event that a goalkeeper has been pushed into the net together with the puck by an attacking player after making a stop, the goal will be disallowed. If applicable, appropriate penalties will be assessed.

If, however, in the opinion of the Referee, the attacking player was pushed or otherwise fouled by a defending player causing the goalkeeper to be pushed into the net together with the puck, the goal can be permitted.

There’s no question Bennett pushed the pad of goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.  The push came on a missed shot attempt while the puck was loose in the crease, not as part of a follow-through of a shot on goal.

The officials agreed, waving off the goal.

The Panthers opted not to challenge the goal, though head coach Joel Quenneville certainly could have. Not that a second look would have changed matters.

With the score back to 0-0, the Lightning took advantage, scoring the game-opening goal on the ensuing shift.

Tampa went on to win Game 1 by a score of 5-4.  While Bennett was kept off the score sheet, he did make his mark in the penalty box, picking up a minor call and a one-game suspension.

Referes for the game were Kyle Rehman (#10) and Dan O’Rourke (#9). Linesmen were Brad Kovachik (#71) and Kory Nagy (#97).