Vegas defenseman Nic Hague scored to give the Golden Knights a 2-0 lead after the whistle sounded on a continuous play.
Jack Eichel entered the Florida Panthers’ zone on a two-on-one with Ivan Barbashev. Eichel cut across the middle, briefly losing the puck before flipping a backhand towards the net. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made the stop, losing his stick in the process.
Hague, crashing the net, pushed the puck in as referee Chris Rooney moved behind the goal. The ref blew his whistle to stop play before emphatically pointing toward the net, signalling a goal.
How can a goal be scored after the whistle sounds?
The situation is covered under Rule 37.3:
The following situations are subject to review by the NHL Situation Room […] : (i) Puck entering the net as the culmination of a continuous play where the result of the play was unaffected by any whistle blown by the Referee upon his losing sight of the puck.
The officials discussed the play, allowing the goal to stand. Referee Kelly Sutherland conveyed the call to an unhappy Paul Maurice behind the Panthers’ bench.
This situation would not be eligible for a Coach’s Challenge, leaving Maurice little option but to accept the call on the ice.
Referees for the game were Chris Rooney (#5) and Kelly Sutherland (#11), with linesmen Kiel Murchison (#79) and Steve Barton (#59).
It’s worth mentioning that a ‘continuous play’ is different from one where the ref believes the puck to be covered and intends to stop play: