Official admits mistake in disallowing Pens goal, Sullivan reacts
PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – It may have cost the Pens the game, but in today’s age of vitriol how refreshing that not only did a ref admit to making a mistake. The coach forgave him.
It was just over five minutes left in a scoreless first period in what ended up a 5-1 Tampa Bay win. Brock McGinn’s high shot initially stopped by Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. The puck would climb over his back and tapped in by McGinn, who had headed to the net in what appeared to be a 1-0 Pens lead.
However the play was whistled dead. What happened next is something we don’t see enough. Accountability.
“The referee came over and said he made a mistake,” said Pens head coach Mike Sullivan. “He lost sight of the puck. He was on the backside of the goaltender. He didn’t see it. It was a quick whistle.”
Then what else was good to see. Instead of a coach using it as an excuse or ranting about needing replay.
“I was appreciative of his honesty.” Sullivan said. “That’s hockey. There is a human element sometimes to it. Obviously it would have been a big goal for us from a momentum standpoint.”
Accountability and forgiveness, good to see those qualities.
Along with the disallowed goal, it was a feisty first period with seven penalties totaling 20 minutes, much of the fighting stemmed from what the Lightning thought was a boarding by Sam Lafferty against Ryan McDonagh. McDonagh went after Lafferty and on his first shift back, Tampa’s Corey Perry sought out and fought Lafferty.
“Sam made an impact on the game,” Sullivan said. “Sam gets in on the forecheck and gets a big hit. It kind of got our guys into the hockey game a little bit. That’s the type of impact Sam can have.”
Tampa Bay took control early in the second, scoring 31 seconds into the period and then added two more, 10 seconds apart. The first Pens regulation loss this season.
Brayden Point got a 150-foot pass from Mikhail Sergachev for a 2-on-1 and Point buried the backhand for the first goal just as the second period began. After a flurry by the Pens at the Tampa Bay net for around a minute, Ondrej Palat got a breakaway to make it 2-0.
“We had plenty of chances to score in those couple of shifts,” said forward Jason Zucker. “I think we passed up too many shots in the grand scheme of the game. We were looking for one extra play multiple times. That was a tough turn when I thought we were playing pretty well.”
McDonagh stepped into a slapper for the 3-0 lead seconds later.
Sergachev would make it 4-0 on an empty netter in the third period. Zucker took advantage of a late penalty, stuffing home a Jake Guentzel rebound to make it 4-1. Another unassisted goal as Alex Killorn scored into another empty net for the 5-1 final.
No Crosby, yet
While taking part in an optional morning skate Tuesday, Sidney Crosby did not return. Pens are scheduled to practice on Wednesday, it appears Crosby’s return could happen this week.
Quote of the Night
Asked if some of the young Pens players could find themselves winning jobs by their play even as other players return.
“I’m pretty confident Sid is going to get a spot in the lineup, if that’s what you are asking,” Sullivan said with a smile.
Pens host Calgary Thursday at 7p. The Flames are 4-1-1 and coming off a win in New Jersey.