TAMPA — The high-sticking penalty that led to Tampa Bay's second goal Sunday night was called into question by many when replays showed the puck — not T.J. Oshie's stick — hit Victor Hedman in the face, but the call followed the letter of the NHL rule.
Oshie's stick made contact with Hedman's glove, which was above his shoulders, and that contact constitutes high-sticking, though Capitals fans and national analysts didn't like the call. Nor did they like the go-ahead goal that came from the ensuing power play and kept the game from being even more lopsided.
"Any contact made by a stick on an opponent above the shoulders is prohibited and a minor penalty shall be imposed," reads NHL Rule 60.2, concerning high-sticking.
It was the puck that knocked Hedman to the ice, however, and that had some questioning the call that gave the Lightning a power play just 76 seconds after Tampa Bay had tied the score on another power-play goal.
NBC Sports' Jeremy Roenick called it a "terrible" call on Twitter, and Keith Olbermann, who said over the weekend that he "loathes" the Lightning, said it was a "period of horrific refereeing."
Just like dad
The Amalie Arena crowd was fired up before the game as the traditional "Lightning Kid" skating around the ice and pounding his stick in the air was 6-year-old Gabriel Lecavalier, the son of former Tampa Bay star Vincent Lecavalier. Gabriel plays for the Brandon Junior Bulls, and when asked on the video board who his favorite current player was, proudly answered "my dad."
One for everyone
The Lightning outshot the Capitals 13-10 in the opening period, doing so with 12 different players taking shots and C J.T. Miller the only one with more than a single shot.
Hedman had the second assist on Brayden Point's first-period goal, and in doing so, extended his streak to seven straight playoff games with at least one point. That's the longest such streak in Lightning playoff history — all on assists, eight total — breaking the mark set by Marty St. Louis with six straight games on the way to a Stanley Cup championship in 2004.
Washington again played without C Nicklas Backstrom, who was sidelined with a hand injury suffered during the Penguins series. … Lightning D Mikhail Sergachev came off the ice after blocking a shot in his hip area in the final minute of the first period, but he was back for the second and playing normal shifts. … Tampa Bay had only been down 0-2 three times in 22 all-time playoff series entering the night. The Lightning came back to beat the Capitals in six games after an 0-2 hole in the 2003 first round, but lost in five to the Devils after another 0-2 start in 2003 and was swept by Montreal in 2014.
Contact Greg Auman at firstname.lastname@example.org and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.