The New York Islanders played a full 60 – actually 62:08 – of solid hockey in a shutout win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
The two teams required extra time after Matt Martin opened the scoring with a goal that went undetected by the on-ice officials and required a lengthy review by the NHL’s Situation Room.
Martin pushed a rebound past Hawks goaltender Arvid Soderblom, who stopped the puck with his right pad, but not before it completely crossed the goal line. Referee Corey Syvret, positioned behind the net, had his view of the puck obscured by the pad.
The two teams played on, trading end-to-end rushes. Both teams had decent scoring chances, each taking multiple shot attempts – with a few on goal – as play continued. Isles goaltender Semyon Varlamov was eventually able to cover the puck after some sustained offensive pressure by the Blackhawks.
During the commercial break, refs Kyle Rehman and Corey Syvret headed over to the penalty box to put on the headsets. It’s likely the league’s Situation Room was still reviewing the play. While they’re able to sound the horn to stop play on a confirmed goal, this one required additional time, prompting them to wait for the stoppage to complete their review. After a few minutes, the verdict was handed down.
Referee Corey Syvret headed to center ice to relay the ruling.
“At 11:02 on the clock, the puck completely crossed the goal line,” announced Syvret. “We have a good goal.”
New York’s Matt Martin was certain he’d scored on the play.
“I was laying on my back and I thought it was in, I was pretty confident it was in,” Martin said. “Where the ref was, he was on the side of the net so he couldn’t tell. … Long review, longer than I thought it needed to take. Glad in the end it counted.”
Not only did the Islanders take the lead, but they also rewound the clock. The league reset everything to the time the goal was actually scoring, wiping out hits, shot attempts, shots on goal, and saves. No penalties were called during the lost time; if they had been, those would have remained, with the infractions assessed as of the time of the goal.
Rule 37.2 covers the play:
When the NHL Situation Room observes an incident involving a potential goal that was undetected by the On-Ice Officials, the Off-Ice Official will contact the Referee at the first stoppage of play and inform him that a review of the play is in progress.
If the review reveals that the goal should be counted, the clock (including penalty time clocks, if applicable) shall be re-set to the time the goal was scored. If the review reveals that no goal was scored, no adjustment to the time clock(s) will be made.
The clock (including penalty time clocks, if applicable) shall be re-set to the time of Team A’s apparent goal – whether awarded or disallowed.
Any penalties signaled during the period of time between the apparent goal and the next stoppage of play shall be assessed in the normal manner, except when a minor penalty is to be assessed to the team scored upon, and is therefore nullified by the scoring of the goal.
The review also would have eliminated any subsequent goals. Only one goal can be scored at any stoppage in play, meaning that Martin’s would have been the only goal that counted — regardless of whether the Islanders or Blackhawks managed to put one on the board afterward.
Only one goal can be awarded at any stoppage of play. If an apparent goal was scored by Team A, and is subsequently confirmed as a goal by the NHL Situation Room, any goal scored by Team B during the period of time between the apparent goal by Team A and the stoppage of play (Team B’s goal), the Team B goal would not be awarded.
Chicago Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson demanded an explanation from the officials and appeared to be considering a challenge. Barring an offside, goaltender interference, or a possible missed stoppage – none of which were apparent on the play – there wasn’t much to challenge for.
The Hawks wisely opted not to contest the goal.
“You can say what you want about that weird goal that was called and turned the page,” said Blackhawks forward Colin Blackwell. “but we didn’t really respond.”
The New York Islanders won the game 3-0. Referees were Kyle Rehman (#10) and Corey Syvret (#23); linesmen were Trent Knorr (#74) and Michel Cormier (#76).