New York Rangers were looking for a whistle that came too late on a play where the puck was pushed over the line.
Goaltender Alexandar Georgiev stopped the initial shot from Alex DeBrincat. The puck, uncovered, sat in the goal crease between his feet. Had it remained there much longer, it may have drawn a whistle from referee Francois St. Laurent to stop play.
Instead, Rangers defenseman Patrik Nemeth drove Blackhawks winger Kirby Dach into the goaltender, pushing the puck over the goal line.
The league reviewed the play to confirm whether the goal was scored legally. With the puck loose and the whistle having not yet sounded, the play was very much live. NHL officials have the option to kill a play based on ‘intent to blow’ under the idea that the play may be determined to have been stopped prior to the whistle actually having sounded.
That didn’t apply here, as the referee apparently did not express an intent to have stopped play sooner.
With the play live, the league review focused on how the puck was propelled into the net. Since Nemeth initiated the contact with Dach, pushing him into the Blueshirts goaltender, there was no goaltender interference on the play. The goal would stand.
New York Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant had the option to challenge, claiming goaltender interference. He wisely opted to pass.
The Rangers lost a coach’s challenge earlier in the game when they disputed a missed stoppage in play for a puck played with a high stick. Had the Rangers challenged again, they would have been given a double-minor penalty for delay of game.
New York hung on for a 3-2 win.
Referees for the game were Francois St. Laurent and Graham Skilliter. Linesmen were David Brisebois and Dan Kelly.