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Why Shore's first period goal was upheld and why it is the wrong call

Why Shore's first period goal was upheld and why it is the wrong call

The Capitals found themselves down early against the Dallas Stars after a controversial goal by Dallas forward Devin Shore was upheld after a coach’s challenge.

Less than two minutes into the game, a long-range shot from Stephen Johns was deflected on net forcing a spectacular toe save from Braden Holtby. The save, however, forced him to slide to the far left. Stars forward Patrick Sharp took the puck for a wrap around to the right. Holtby tried to recover, but could not as Shore was in the crease blocking his way. Shore had been pushed into the crease by Brooks Orpik and was eventually able to knock the puck into the empty net after Sharp’s initial attempt did not go in.

You can see the play in the video above.

The goal was immediately challenged by Barry Trotz, but was upheld after the review.

RELATED: Trotz talks Burakovsky's potential return for Cali trip

The NHL released an explanation via the Situation Room blog:

At 1:48 of the first period in the Stars/Capitals game, Washington requested a Coach's Challenge to review whether Devin Shore interfered with Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby prior to Dallas' goal.

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Referee determined that the actions of the Washington player caused Shore to contact Holtby before the puck crossed the goal line. The decision was made in accordance with Note 2 of Rule 78.7 (ii) which states, in part, that the goal should be allowed because "the attacking Player was pushed, shoved or fouled by a defending Player causing the attacking Player to come into contact with the goalkeeper."

Orpik certainly pushed Shore into the crease. There’s no argument there. The problem is that Shore made no effort to get out of the crease once he was in. When a player is pushed into the crease, that doesn’t give him the right to simply set up shop. It’s incumbent on him to make a reasonable effort to get out.

When watching the play, Shore has an opportunity to attempt to get out of the crease, but remains in place. At best, he was unintentionally blocking Holtby’s path to the puck. At worst, he was taking advantage of Orpik’s push to restrict Holtby from reaching the far side of the net.

Either way, it certainly looked like goalie interference, even with the push from Orpik.

MORE CAPITALS: Trotz shows Caps video of Shattenkirk's fight with Williams

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Tom Wilson immediately moves back onto the top line for Tuesday’s game in Minnesota

Tom Wilson immediately moves back onto the top line for Tuesday’s game in Minnesota

After a neutral arbitrator reduced Tom Wilson’s suspension on Tuesday, head coach Todd Reirden is wasting no time getting him back into the lineup. Wilson will make his season debut against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday  (8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Washington) and he will play on the top line alongside Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

“That's where he's most comfortable,” Reirden said after the team’s morning skate Tuesday.

“They had some preseason time together and I thought it was the right move to do tonight. I liked some of the things that we saw from some of the adjustments we made last game, but I think this will allow Tom to have the most success after an extended period of time out of game action.”

With Wilson’s return the Caps will have their full offensive lineup for the first time this season. After reuniting Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie on the top line for Sunday’s game, Reirden has elected to change things again go with the same top nine that worked so effectively during the team’s playoff run last season, per Isabelle Khurshudyan.

Alex Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana – Nicklas Backstrom – T.J. Oshie
Andre Burakovsky – Lars Eller – Brett Connolly
Chandler Stephenson – Travis Boyd – Devante Smith-Pelly

Dmitry Orlov – John Carlson
Michal Kempny – Matt Niskanen
Christian Djoos – Madison Bowey

Pheonix Copley to start.

The addition of Wilson dramatically changes the team’s lineup and chemistry. Not only does it make the lineup deeper, he also obviously adds a major physical element.

“He's such a big part of our team, of the way we play, of the culture on and off the ice that we've been missing something,” Oshie said. “It's been 43 so it's great to have him back.”

While the Caps are getting their top-line winger back, the team is also entering the game well aware that it may take time for him to get up to game speed.

“For him, we have to have realistic expectations that he's going to have a little bit of a learning curve here in terms of getting back up to speed and getting back up to the pace of play which is something that's at an all-time high this year,” Reirden said.

With that in mind, do not be surprised to see the Caps shuffle their offensive lines throughout the night rather than lean on Wilson to play 18+ minutes in his first game back, especially if the Caps get into penalty trouble and Wilson plays on the penalty kill.

While Wilson did travel with the team in the event that his suspension would be reduced and he would be eligible to play, neither he nor the team received any advanced notice that he would be available.

“I wake up this morning and at 8:30 I get news I've got to get ready to play,” Wilson said.

“It was definitely a unique experience, one that you don't ever want to go through, a bit eye-opening. At the end of the day, there's a game today, I've got to focus on that and it's a big road trip so I've got to focus on this team getting back on track and do whatever I can to help out.”

MORE TOM WILSON NEWS:

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TJ Oshie celebrates Tom Wilson's return with incredible 'Free Willy 3' poster

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TJ Oshie celebrates Tom Wilson's return with incredible 'Free Willy 3' poster

After 16 games and an up and down start to 2018, the Washington Capitals can finally welcome their stud right winger Tom Wilson back to the lineup. 

On Tuesday, Wilson's 20-game suspension was reduced to 14 thanks to a neutral arbitrator. 

TJ Oshie apparently couldn't contain his excitement as he took to Twitter sharing a hilarious poster to celebrate. 

This wasn't the first time Wilson's fellow right winger posted something comical regarding Wilson's suspension. In fact, Tuesday's celebratory tweet completed the trilogy. 

Remember the initial Free Willy poster that kicked things off in October 2017? 

Or what about the sequel from last May? 

The Capitals travel to Minnesota for an 8 p.m. puck drop Tuesday night and although his playing status is unconfirmed, all signs point towards it being likely the 24-year-old will be in the lineup. 

 

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