NHL playoffs 2018: Golden Knights taste defeat in 2 OTs after debatable calls go other way

San Jose Sharks (Getty Photographs)

The Golden Knights thought they’d prolonged an ideal begin to their first Stanley Cup playoff run. As an alternative, Vegas skilled its first taste of the bitter nature of postseason extra time, the place a single name or penalty has the facility to shift a whole recreation and collection.

Logan Couture’s energy-play objective 5:thirteen into the second extra time in Saturday’s Recreation 2 gave the Sharks a a lot-wanted four-three win to even their second-spherical playoff collection at one recreation apiece. It is the primary time the NHL’s storybook enlargement franchise has misplaced in the playoffs, six video games into its postseason historical past. That Golden Knights have been a questionable overturned aim away from enhancing to six-zero will make the loss all of the harder to swallow.

How Vegas turned probably the most profitable enlargement staff in sports historical past

With three:02 remaining in the primary additional time, the Golden Knights’ Jonathan Marchessault appeared to attain the sport-winner on a rebound in entrance of Martin Jones. As Vegas burst right into a frenzied celebration, the on-ice officers gathered for a convention to take a look at the replay. Marchessault had been behind the web simply earlier than Shea Theodore launched his shot from the purpose, and it appeared the Knights winger had clipped Jones’ stick whereas skating to maneuver into the capturing lane. 

A assessment from the NHL’s State of affairs Room in Toronto decided Marchessault’s contact with Jones “prevented him from his job” and thus met the usual for goalie interference. The decision on the ice was overturned. There was some partisan outcry from Golden Knights followers, however the name was delicate in phrases of controversy, save for its potential to find out the result. Contact with Jones was clear. The talk centered on the purpose of contact and Marchessault’s relation to the crease.

“I’m making an attempt to get to the web. He’s in his crease, however I’m not even in his crease, too,” Marchessault informed reporters after the loss. “He’s advancing his blocker towards me. Like, I’m there already. I’m going by way of and dealing for place in entrance of the web. The puck hits me, so he doesn’t even make the save.”

Such is life in the NHL’s grey world of objective critiques.

The Golden Knights additionally might have been capable of gripe about Brent Burns’ second-interval aim, which was allowed to face following Gerard Gallant’s coach’s problem. Sharks ahead Timo Meier ran into Marc-Andre Fleury whereas Burns wrapped round behind the web, however the NHL decided Meier had been pushed by Vegas’ Colin Miller.

Couture’s eventual winner, his second objective of the sport, got here after the Golden Knights acquired into extra penalty hassle to start out the second extra time, bringing their recreation complete to eleven — a brand new franchise report. Theodore was referred to as for top-sticking Mikkel Boedker 1:35 in and Jon Merrill took a hooking penalty that led to the fateful energy play.

If nothing else, Vegas caught a case of onerous luck. Typically, calls merely go the other way.