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Controversial Call In Pittsburgh-Carolina Game

Nov 19, 2010 – 11:22 PM
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Adam Gretz

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The Pittsburgh Penguins picked up a 5-4 shootout win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night, but it wasn't without a bit of controversy. With the game tied, 3-3, midway through the third period, Chris Kunitz was awarded his second goal of the game -- and seventh of the season -- to give the Penguins a 4-3 lead. The only problem, however, is that the puck appeared to cross the goal line after the whistle had blown.

The initial call on the ice was no goal, and after replays were shown on television -- complete with the on-ice sound -- it was clear that the whistle had already blown before the puck crossed the line. By now we've all seen the intent to blow rule take apparent goals away at one time or another because the referee was in the "act" of blowing the whistle. Rule 78.6 states: "When the Referee deems the play has been stopped, even if he had not physically had the opportunity to stop play by blowing his whistle."

That wasn't the case on this play. The whistle had flat out blown.

Despite that, the play was reviewed and, shockingly, the call on the ice was overturned and Pittsburgh was credited with a goal.

Here's the video ...



Naturally, Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice was quite angry with the change, and for good reason.

The Hurricanes managed to tie the game with less than a minute to play in regulation thanks to Jussi Jokinen's second goal of the game, sending the contest to overtime. Would Carolina have won the game without that call? Impossible to say because the events changed quite a bit after that goal. For example: Jokinen's game-tying goal came with an extra attacker after the Hurricanes pulled their goalie. Obviously, if they're not trailing in that situation they have no reason to pull their goalie, and that goal may not happen. Still doesn't change the fact it was a call that shouldn't have been made.

The Penguins eventually won in the shootout thanks to goals from Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby.
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