Some would argue that Lightning center Brayden Point falling to his knees after Stars forward Corey Perry’s stick hit him between the legs late in the third period of Friday’s Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final was anything but embellishment.
“The veteran Corey Perry got a break," NBCSN broadcaster Keith Jones said of the call. "This is a penalty on Perry, and I don’t know what else Brayden Point can do when you have a stick in your midsection that like. There’s nowhere else you can go. Point is frustrated by the call and I don’t blame him.”
But in the eyes of the officials, Point’s fall to the ice was enough for an embellishment call in the Lightning’s 5-4 overtime win at Edmonton.
On the play, Perry was racing down the ice with Point chasing the puck behind Lightning forward Tyler Johnson.
Perry then tried to slow Point by bringing up his stick from the ice between Point’s legs, hitting him directly in the groin.
Point immediately fell over onto his knees, staying down for a couple of seconds until an official blew the whistle.
Perry was penalized for interference, Point for embellishment.
After the game, coach Jon Cooper rationalized some of the calls, and non-calls, made in the game.
"It’s not like anybody’s trying to help somebody else out, it’s just the way it is,” Cooper said after the win. “(The officials are) trying their hardest.”
Penalties called were questioned multiple times by both benches.
Earlier in the game, Lightning forward Tyler Johnson and Stars forward Roope Hintz collided into the boards early in the second period. Hintz was slow to get up, taking the brunt of the impact to his back. Hintz slowly made his way to the bench before going down the tunnel.
Johnson’s stick was hooked in front of Hintz, under the blade of his left skate. Johnson let go of the stick, contributing to Hintz losing his footing and sliding right-side first into the boards. Johnson braced for impact, putting his hand on the back of Hintz, but he couldn’t avoid impact into the boards.
No penalty was called on the play, and Hintz did not return to play for the rest of the game.
Follow all the action on and off the ice
Subscribe to our free Lightning Strikes newsletter
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.Explore all your options
In overtime, Stars forward Jamie Benn was penalized for a questionable tripping call on Johnson.
The penalty ultimately led to Kevin Shattenkirk’s goal on the power play.
Dallas interim coach Rick Bowness called the penalty a “hockey play.” Dallas forward Joe Pavelski also disagreed with the call.
“The ref’s got a tough job,” Pavelski said. “It’s in front of (referee) Kelly (Sutherland), he’s got a great look at it, the back ref calls it. I don’t have a ton of time for a play where Tyler Johnson steps in front of Jamie Benn and has no real effect on the play. Jamie breathes on him, and the guy falls over. … Playoffs, it’s overtime. We expect 5-on-5. We expect to battle it out.”
Here’s what some people on Twitter had to say about Point’s “embellishment” penalty: