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Golden Knights aren’t only team on wrong end of questionable call

Updated April 24, 2019 - 6:08 pm

Center Cody Eakin’s controversial five-minute major and game misconduct will live on in Golden Knights infamy and NHL lore.

The call gave the San Jose Sharks an extended power play down 3-0 in the third period, and they proceeded to take a 4-3 lead before winning 5-4 in overtime in Game 7 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series Tuesday night in San Jose.

The Knights are hardly the first team to be on the wrong end of a questionable call in the playoffs, however. Here are four other notorious NHL decisions:

1. Skate in the crease: Game 6, 1999 Stanley Cup Final

Die-hard Buffalo Sabres fans still aren’t over this one.

The Sabres hosted the Dallas Stars down 3-2 in the series and played into triple overtime tied 1-1. Stars forward Brett Hull then received a pass from teammate Jere Lehtinen in front of the crease and had his initial shot stopped by Sabres goaltender Dominik Hasek, his 48th save in a brilliant performance.

Hull then kicked the rebound after it left the crease to his stick blade and scored to win the Stanley Cup. The one problem? The toe of his left skate was in the crease, which at the time was not allowed when the puck was not.

But the officials let the goal stand.

2. Past the line: Game 6, 2004 Stanley Cup Final

The 1993 Montreal Canadiens are still the last Canadian team to hoist the Stanley Cup, and this noncall is one reason why.

Up 3-2 in their series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Calgary Flames appeared to break a 2-2 tie with 6:57 to play. Flames forward Oleg Saprykin raced from his defensive zone to the Lightning’s end on the power play and threw the puck at Tampa Bay goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin.

The puck ricocheted off the right skate of Flames forward Martin Gelinas and crossed the goal line, but the officials didn’t see it because Khabibulin’s right pad kicked the puck out a split second after the goal occurred. The play was never reviewed, and the Flames went on to lose 3-2 in double overtime and 2-1 in Game 7.

3. No offsides: Game 6, 1980 Stanley Cup Final

A New York Islanders dynasty was born because of this decision.

The Islanders had a 3-2 series lead and were tied with the Philadelphia Flyers 1-1 in the first period. Forward Clark Gillies then entered the offensive zone and dropped the puck back to teammate Butch Goring. The puck left the offensive zone, but Goring brought it back over the blue line and fired a cross-ice pass that forward Duane Sutter finished to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead with 5:52 left in the period.

Linesman Leon Stickle admitted he should have blown the play dead for offsides. The goal counted, though, and the Islanders would win the first of four consecutive Stanley Cups in overtime.

4. Early whistle: Game 6, 2017 Stanley Cup Final

The Pittsburgh Penguins received a gift from the officials before clinching their second consecutive Cup two seasons ago.

The Nashville Predators, down 3-2 in the series, appeared to break a 0-0 tie in front of a raucous Bridgestone Arena crowd when forward Filip Forsberg’s shot trickled through Penguins goaltender Matt Murray’s pads and forward Colton Sissons poked the puck into the net.

Referee Kevin Pollock, positioned on the right side of the net by the goal line, had a bad angle while watching the play and blew the whistle thinking Murray had frozen the puck. The goaltender never had control of it, though, and the Predators were denied a go-ahead goal.

Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist ultimately scored the first goal with 1:35 to play, and forward Carl Hagelin added an empty-netter to clinch the Stanley Cup.

More Golden Knights: Follow at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact reporter Ben Gotz at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.

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