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How Lightning’s accurate challenge vs. Minnesota Wild turned into a penalty

Even if the play is erased by an earlier offsides, the penalty still must be served.
Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper watches from the bench as his team plays against the Minnesota Wild during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn.
Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper watches from the bench as his team plays against the Minnesota Wild during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. [ HANNAH FOSLIEN | AP ]
Published Jan. 17, 2020|Updated Jan. 17, 2020

ST. PAUL — In the NHL, a team gets penalized if it gets a challenge wrong. The Lightning were penalized Thursday against the Wild after getting a challenge right.

Let’s back up a bit. It looked like the Wild took a three-goal lead late in the second period when Carson Soucy tapped the puck into a open net. Goalie Curtis McElhinney was pulled out of the crease making a save on Kevin Fiala, leaving a juicy rebound and a wide open net.

Related: The recent strong defense was missing in Thursday's loss to Minnesota

The Lightning challenged the play for offside. Yup, turns out Fiala entered the zone before the puck.

The official announced no goal and to reset the game clock to the time of the invalid zone entry, but then he said the Lightning’s Alex Volkov was being penalized for holding. That hold technically didn’t happen because the clock was rewound to before the infraction, but the penalty still counted.

The rule book addresses this scenario. Any penalty assessed between the time of an infraction and a video review disallowing a goal must still be served.

Thus, even though the game time traveled to before the infraction, the penalty still happened.

The Lightning got the benefit of an overturned goal, but they immediately went on the penalty kill and didn’t gain any momentum from the call. They did kill the penalty, so it didn’t directly hurt them.

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