THE RESULT: With less than ten seconds remaining, Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson scored what appeared to be the game tying goal against the Dallas Stars, pushing a tight game into overtime.
Unfortunately, the referees ruled that Alex Ovechkin committed goaltender interference by checking a player into his own goalie, and the goal was waived off. An unreviewable play, despite all of coach Bruce Boudreau's protestations, sent the Caps to a bitter 2-1 loss in the Lone Star State.
Problem was, Ovechkin did not check the player that collided with Stars goalie Andrew Raycroft, defenseman Karlis Skrastins. Rather, the Washington captain was tied up with Dallas' other defenseman, Stephane Robidas. Regardless, all three players ended up in the Dallas crease, and referee Dan O'Rourke ruled on the interference.
It's an unfortunate ending to a tough, tight hockey game.
The Capitals brought a four-game winning streak into this one, just as Dallas had. Both teams played like they were defending a streak, playing close to the vest, tough checking hockey all night. The big difference? Well, there were two.
First, Dallas was awarded five power plays to Washington's three. Both teams scored on the power play, with Mike Ribiero tallying on the second of consecutive calls against the Caps in the middle of the second period, and Mike Knuble ramming home a perfect pass from Mike Green mid-way through the third.
The second difference was the Stars second goal, scored just 20 seconds after the Caps tied things up in the third.
On the play, Dallas tough guy Brandon Segal collected a pass from Brenden Morrow and lofted it toward the Capitals goal. Goalie Michal Neuvirth went down into a butterfly even though the shot came from the top of the right wing circle, and he waived at it with his blocker.
He whiffed, and the puck went over his shoulder and into the net.
Neuvirth dropped his head, knowing that was a shot he must knock down. Replays showed that defenseman Karl Alzner tipped the shot, but it was still so far out that Neuvy should have made the stop. It was a rare mistake from a young goalie that carried the Caps through October and early November.
THE GOOD: The Capitals dominated the latter stages of the third period, flying around the Dallas zone and getting all sorts of shots on net. Too bad it took until then for them to really get going against a tough Dallas team.
THE BAD: In a one goal game, one mistake can doom you, and Michal Neuvirth's misplay on Dallas' second goal in one he will tell you he should have 100 times out of 100.
THE UGLY: The waived goal. Essentially, this rule allows defenders to run into their own goalies and prohibit goals from being scored. It's a lousy rule. Either an offensive player is guilty of a penalty, or it's incidental contact. It's ridiculous that the play is not reviewable.
THE STATS: Mike Knuble (4) from Mike Green (9) and Eric Fehr (6) at 10:18 of 3rd. (PP).
NEXT GAME: Saturday at 7:00 pm against Atlanta Thrashers at Verizon Center.
CAPS NEWS NETWORK THREE STARS
3. Alex Ovechkin. He did everything but score. Five shots, three hits, all over the ice. Stood up for Marcus Johansson when he got run at the end of the second period.
2. Eric Fehr. He was engaged a night after he was transparent. Four shots on goal, another five blocked and four misses and an assist on the lone goal.
1. Mike Knuble. The lone goal scorer has been playing better lately, and you get the feeling he's just about getting ready to burst. The tally was a great shot off a great pass.