Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta was injured in a collision with Boston Bruins center David Pastrnak.
Pastrnak moved quickly into the Carolina zone on the forecheck, skating directly at Raanta who was making a pass up ice. The Boston forward appeared to brace for impact with the puck, shifting his weight and limiting his ability to avoid the collision. Pastrnak put his hands out at the last moment as he crashed into the goaltender.
Raanta was injured on the play, suffering a cut to the face. He was assisted off the ice and did not return.
Referee Dan O’Rourke initially announced a five-minute major penalty for the hit. Under Rule 20.6, the referees have the ability to review the penalty call, which they did. They have the option to confirm the initial call, or reduce it to a minor penalty. The determination is made solely by the on-ice officials.
Referees shall review all plays that result in the assessment of any Major Penalty (other than a Major Penalty for Fighting) for the purpose of confirming (or modifying) their original call on the ice. Such reviews will be conducted exclusively by the Referee(s) on the ice in consultation with other On-Ice Official(s), as appropriate, using the technology (for example, a handheld tablet or a television or computer monitor) specified in and provided pursuant to Rule 38.5.
Communication between the Situation Room and the On-Ice Officials shall be limited to contact between the appropriate Game Logger in the Situation Room and the Referee to ensure the Referee is receiving any and all video they might request, as well as the appropriate replay angles they may need to review the penalty call. There shall be no other contact or consultation between the On-Ice Official(s) and the NHL Situation Room, or with any other non-game participant.
The Referee shall only have the following options following video review of his own call: (i) confirming his original Major Penalty call; or (ii) reducing his original Major Penalty call to a lesser penalty for the same infraction.
After a few minutes, the officials announced the result: the call was reduced to a minor penalty for interference.
Based on Rule 56, the differentiation between a major and minor penalty for interference is based on “the degree of violence” of the hit.
Refs Dan O’Rourke and Brian Pochmara apparently felt that Pastrnak pulled up on the hit, or otherwise may have tried to minimize contact. It did appear that his intent was on getting in the way of the puck, not necessarily contacting the goaltender. Unfortunately, he was unable to avoid the hit, which resulted in an injury to the Carolina goaltender.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety will also be taking a look at the play. DOPS decisions are made independently of the on-ice call and any in-game punishment handed out.
No word on Raanta’s condition.