You could say scoring goals tonight has been a bit of a… challenge.
The Tampa Bay Lightning had two goals wiped out due to Coach’s Challenges in Game 4 against the Florida Panthers.
Missed Stoppage #1: Puck Out of Play
Tampa’s Alex Killorn though he had opened the scoring in Game 4, until the officials had a second look. Prior to the goal, Tampa’s Ondrej Palat attempted to move the puck up the glass to a teammate at the point. His pass attempt made it, but not without going out of play. A crosscheck from behind by Florida’s Ben Chiarot bumped Palat off-balance, causing the puck to deflect up into the protective netting.
It took nearly nine minutes or scrutinizing every available angle before the call came down: no goal Tampa.
Missed Stoppage #2: Hand Pass
Less than two minutes later, the officials were back on the phone with Toronto.
Tampa appeared to open the scoring once again after an offensive zone faceoff win by Anthony Cirelli. Unfortunately, Cirelli won the faceoff by passing the puck back with his right hand. That’s a penalty under Rule 67.2:
A minor penalty shall be assessed for “delay of game – face-off violation” to a player taking the face-off who … attempts to win the face-off by batting the puck with their hand.
NOTE: The two players involved in the actual face-off (the centers) are not permitted to play the puck with their hand without incurring a penalty under this rule until such time as a third player (from either team) has at least touched the puck.
The call was missed on the ice, but it still would have resulted in a stoppage in play. The officials can disallow the goal based on the infraction, but are not permitted to assess a penalty based on video review.
A review – must faster than the prior one for the puck out of play – quickly handed down the decision: no goal Tampa.
Two goals in a scoreless game, thanks to the Coach’s Challenge.
This was the first two-challenge game of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Even more impressive: this was the first game with two Coach’s Challenges for missed stoppages. Florida got ’em both right.
Referees for the game were Chris Lee (#28) and Steve Kozari (#40); linesmen were Bryan Pancich (#94) and Scott Cherrey (#50). All Coach’s Challenge final decisions are made by the NHL’s Situation Room.