The Capitals 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday was not without controversy.
In the third period, Caps’ defenseman Matt Niskanen put the exclamation point on a nice passing play to put Washington up 4-1 in the third. There was just one problem: It should not have counted.
The Capitals had six skaters on the ice when the goal was scored and should have been called for too many men, but the referees missed the penalty.
Watch the replay here and pay particular attention to the view from behind the net that shows the length of the ice:
Here’s another view in case you missed it from NBC Sports Washington's postgame show, Caps Extra:
Even if you missed it at first, New Jersey head coach John Hynes sure didn’t.
“They had six guys the whole play,” Hynes said after the game. “You can’t do anything about it. It’s the ref’s call.”
A coach can challenge that a goal was offside or that there was goaltender interference, but too many men is not among the options for a coach's challenge. It is a call that has to be made by the referees or the linesmen and clearly they missed this one.
Disallowing the goal would not have necessarily changed the outcome of the game, Washington led by 3-1 at the time the goal was scored, but taking a goal off the board always has an impact. The Capitals certainly dodged a bullet with this missed call.