Questionable Call Costs Pittsburgh Penguins In Shootout Loss Against Montreal Canadiens
There was no shortage of goals in Thursday night’s game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens. The teams traded goals back and forth throughout the game, and with just under eight minutes remaining in the third period, Sidney Crosby gave the Penguins a 5-4 lead.
Then, the referees made a questionable call, at best, on Penguins forward Tanner Glass after laying a vicious hit on Alexei Emelin.
Emelin was traveling through the neutral zone attempting to get the puck deep. Once he got to the red line, he dumped the puck in the Penguins’ zone and was met hard by Glass. Emelin got up after the hit and immediately started grabbing his mouth to check for blood as if he had been hit high.
The referees gave Glass a five minute major penalty for elbowing and a game misconduct. As Glass was being escorted to the locker room, he looked up at the Jumbotron to watch the replay. After seeing the hit first hand, Glass turned in disgust and bolted down the runway.
After the replay was shown to the fans at home, it’s quite obvious why Glass was so upset.
The point of contact where Glass hit Emelin was right below his shoulder, but because Emelin was in the motion of shooting the puck in deep, his own stick came up and hit him under his visor.
Glass didn’t hit Emelin up high, Emelin hit Emelin up high.
If anything, Glass might have been guilty of a minor elbowing penalty, which would have been a measly two minutes in the box that the Penguins likely would have killed off. The Pens entered Thursday night’s game with the second-best penalty kill in the NHL – successfully killing off just under 87 percent of their infractions.
With five minutes of power play time, the Canadiens scored once, tying the game 5-5 and eventually going on to win in a shootout thanks to a slick move by David Desharnais.
If it weren’t for two outstanding saves by Marc-Andre Fleury later in the five-minute power play, the Canadiens would have rolled out of Pittsburgh with both points in regulation.
The Pens didn’t play very well defensively all night. There isn’t really any solid excuse that makes up for them giving up five goals to a team that only managed 17 shots in three periods the night before against the Detroit Red Wings.
But on the bright side, the Pens escaped with a point and still command a 15-point lead in the Metropolitan division.
The next time the Penguins take the ice they will lace up outdoors against the Chicago Blackhawks at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Shane Darrow is an NHL writer for Rant Sports. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @ShaneDarrow.