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Video: Alex Ovechkin's Controversial (and Hilarious) Non-Goal

Feb 10, 2010 – 11:05 PM
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Adam Gretz

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The Washington Capitals had their franchise-record winning streak snapped on Wednesday night thanks to a 6-5 overtime loss in Montreal. For the second consecutive game the Capitals overcame a three-goal deficit to force overtime, but this time around Tomas Plekanec scored the winner with eight seconds to play in the extra period.

What this game might be remembered for, however, is the goal that was taken away from Alex Ovechkin in the second period with the Capitals trailing 4-2.

After Montreal goaltender Carey Price allowed a rebound to slide out into the slot, Hal Gill attempted to play the puck as it was sitting between his skates. At that point, Ovechkin came into the picture and sent the 6-foot-7, 250-pound Gill flying through the air like a rag doll. Gill crashed into Price and the puck trickled over the goal line ... only to have it be disallowed.

In a game that was ultimately decided by one score, that's going to be a big deal, and predictably, Capitals fans were not amused.

I don't care if the goal counts or not, that hit is the highlight of the night. Gill has a good five inches and probably 45 pounds on Ovechkin, but you would have never known it as Gill's skates were separated from the ice.

Now, onto the important topic: should the goal have counted? You can read the entire rule for goaltender interference right here.

Here's a couple of excerpts that might apply to this situation:

1) "In the event that a goalkeeper has been pushed into the net together with the puck by an attacking player after making a stop, the goal will be disallowed. If applicable, appropriate penalties will be assessed."

2) "The overriding rationale of this rule is that a goalkeeper should have the ability to move freely within his goal crease without being hindered by the actions of an attacking player. If an attacking player enters the goal crease and, by his actions, impairs the goalkeeper's ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed."

3) "In the event that the puck is under a player in or around the crease area (deliberately or otherwise), a goal cannot be scored by pushing this player together with the puck into the goal. If applicable, the appropriate penalties will be assessed, including a penalty shot if deemed to be covered in the crease deliberately."

The problem is that, technically, Ovechkin isn't the person that pushed Price -- and the puck -- into the net; it was Hal Gill, who just happened to be obliterated by Ovechkin as he attempted to play the puck in front of the net. Is finishing your check four feet outside the crease with such force that your opponent ends up knocking his own goaltender in the net keeping him from moving freely in his crease? In this case, according to the on-ice officials, yes.

The Capitals have been on the opposite side of this argument as well. Rewind back to April, 22, 2007 for Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series against the Philadelphia Flyers.

That goal counted.

How do you explain how one goal counts and the other doesn't? It's the NHL.
Filed under: Sports