NEW YORK — Whether a play included goaltender interference, perhaps the most disputed penalty in hockey, is not reviewable by replay officials, despite frequent pleas to make it so. The Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist became the latest to make that request, after Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final Saturday night.
"You have to stop the play if the goalie can't move in his crease," Lundqvist said of Dwight King's goal early in the third period, which started the Kings' rally from a 4-2 deficit to a 5-4 victory in double overtime.
Lundqvist and the Rangers will have to put their anger behind them as they try to cut into the Kings' 2-0 series lead, with Game 3 at Madison Square Garden tonight. Still, in the aftermath of Game 2, they showed their exasperation.
On the play, Lundqvist tried to stop a shot from the Kings' Matt Greene, but his movement was impeded by King, who was tangling with Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh in the crease. The puck struck King and went in the net.
Even as he lay on the ice, pinned by the fallen King and McDonagh, Lundqvist protested to referee Dan O'Halloran. Lundqvist said O'Halloran told him the puck was past him when King made contact. O'Halloran also indicated that McDonagh had pushed King into Lundqvist. Lundqvist did not see it that way.
The rule book says goals should be disallowed 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." It also says "if an attacking player initiates contact with a goalkeeper, incidental or otherwise, while the goalkeeper is in his goal crease and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed."
The referees invoked the rule in the second period Saturday, penalizing the Rangers' Benoit Pouliot for tangling with Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.
In the case of King's goal, TV replays seemed to show Lundqvist was unable to maneuver while the shot was headed at him and King had positioned himself in the crease in a way that impeded Lundqvist.
The rule book says the rule "will be enforced exclusively in accordance with the on-ice judgment of the referee(s) and not by means of video replay or review."
"Why not video replay?" Lundqvist said.