"They called a violation or something that hasn't been called all year," the Washington Capitals forward said. "I felt all night that I wasn't a crease presence as far as the blue paint. I was right on the edge where I should be."
Flanked by Montreal Canadiens defenseman Hal Gill, Knuble was called for a crease violation when he backed into goalie Jaroslav Halak 24 seconds into the third period just as Alex Ovechkin put the puck into the net. Instead of what would have been a tied game, Montreal maintained the lead en route to a 2-1 victory and clinched an entry into the second round.
"I watched it just now four or five times," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It feels like you're whining if you say things [that are] negative, but that's a pretty tough one to take. If Knuble's right foot touched [Halak's] pad ... it was so light I don't know how they could make that call. I thought the puck was in the net before that anyway."
Rule 69.1 in the NHL rulebook doesn't call for every goal to be waved off if an attacking player is in the crease. But the rule reads that if "an attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper's ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal," the goal would be disallowed.
Boudreau added he didn't "see how the hell that could be" goalie interference.