The Dallas Stars defeated the Montreal Canadiens in overtime after the NHL ruled that contact in the crease on John Klingberg’s goal was not goaltender interference.
Stars forward Tyler Seguin crashed the net, with the puck arriving nearly the same time. Habs goaltender Jake Allen made the initial stop, with the rebound bouncing into the slot. Dallas defenseman John Klingberg swooped in to fire the rebound into the net.
Referee Mitch Dunning signaled a good goal on the ice. As with all goals scored in overtime, though, this one went to Toronto for an automatic review.
The NHL’s Situation Room confirmed the call on the ice, citing Rule 69.7:
In a rebound situation, or where a goalkeeper and attacking player(s) are simultaneously attempting to play a loose puck, whether inside or outside the crease, incidental contact with the goalkeeper will be permitted, and any goal that is scored as a result thereof will be allowed.
The key word in this ruling – and its application – is ‘incidental’. If contact is ‘other than incidental’ the following applies, per Table 16:
[If] an attacking player makes other than incidental contact with the goalkeeper while both are attempting to play a loose puck at the time a goal is scored [the result is] a minor and/or major penalty […] and the goal is disallowed.
There’s no question there was contact between Klingberg and Allen. The Situation Room would have determined that the contact was incidental in order to allow the goal. Seguin appeared to be establishing position in an attempt to play the puck, doing his best to avoid contact with the goalkeeper.
“Seguin is behind me in the goal crease, doesn’t let me turn my blocker,” Allen said after the game. “That’s why the puck goes through the 7-hole so I’m not really sure what else is goalie interference… I think one of the referees said it was goalie interference and then the League turned it over – I don’t know. I don’t know the whole deal but that one I’m a little disappointed with.”
ESPN’s Dave Jackson reminds us, too, that the Situation Room would need conclusive evidence to overturn the ‘goal’ call on the ice.
I’m saying that he made a legit play on a loose puck while being kept in the blue by D-man.Based on ref allowing goal, I don’t think the video evidence is compelling enough to overturn an on-ice call on this play which is essentially a 50/50 call. No consensus on interference.
— Dave Jackson (@ESPNRefNHL) March 18, 2022
Dallas won the game 4-3 in overtime. Referees were Kelly Sutherland (#11) and Mitch Dunning (#43); linesmen were Bevan Mills (#53) and Julien Fournier (#56).