Penguins: Officials go to video replay three times

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Goals didn't come easily Thursday night for the Penguins, and it wasn't just because Ottawa's Pascal Leclaire made 56 saves.

Twice during regulation, the Penguins had to sweat out a video review -- both involving winger Chris Kunitz -- with mixed results.

And that is not counting what could have been a winning goal for Ottawa at 2:05 of the first overtime, which was waved off on the ice and confirmed under review because Nick Foligno was ruled to have kicked the puck in.

"I don't remember a game with three [reviews] before," said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

When those goal reviews happen, the players are doing the same thing everyone else is: They are glued to the scoreboard watching the replays.

"You're all trying to form an opinion," Crosby said. "Ours doesn't really matter, but you try to see what's going on."

The first came at 18:34 of the second period after Crosby swept in from behind the net and took his first shot of the game. Kunitz pounced on the rebound and swatted at the puck until it slid in off of Leclaire just inside the right post.

Referee Brian Pochmara immediately signaled that the goal didn't count.

"I wasn't sure why he blew the whistle," Kunitz said. "I thought the goalie had the puck, but it turned out [the referee] thought the net went off [its moorings]."

That is because at the far side of the crease at same time Kunitz was scoring, the third member of the Penguins' top line, Bill Guerin, was tied up by Senators defenseman Chris Phillips. Guerin's momentum lifted the left post, which led to Pochmara waving off the goal because he considered the net to be dislodged.

The video review -- conducted in the NHL's "situation room" in Toronto -- determined that the post was raised, but the green mooring, or flexible peg, was still attached at one end to the post and at the other end in the ice.

NHL Rule 78.4 states in part that "as long as the flexible pegs are still in contact with the holes in the ice and the goal posts, the goal frame shall not be deemed to be displaced."

The on-ice ruling was overturned, and Kunitz was awarded a goal to tie the score, 2-2.

At 9:22 of the second period, Kunitz seemed to have scored a go-ahead goal on a power play.

For about a nanosecond.

It was ruled that he deflected in a shot by Sergei Gonchar with a high stick -- a call made by all four on-ice officials. The review officials agreed, and the score remained 2-2.

"It was a reactionary play -- you just put your stick up," said Kunitz, who confirmed he got a piece of the puck. His stick would have had to have been below the height of the crossbar -- and the replay would have had to show that conclusively -- for the ruling on the ice to be reversed and the goal to be legal

"It looked pretty close," Kunitz said. "The replay, I only saw it once."

Foligno's overtime call came when he put the puck in the net after he caught up to a rebound of a Jason Spezza shot just above the crease. Replays showed he directed the puck in with his right skate, so the call on the ice of no goal stood.

Shelly Anderson: or 412-263-1721 First Published April 23, 2010 5:15 AM


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