The help came from the referees after a play that appeared to be goalie interference on L.A. Instead of a penalty on L.A.’s Dwight King, it was his third goal of the playoffs. New York’s goalie Henrik Lundqvist immediately complained to the refs, but it was to no avail as the play cut a two-goal lead for New York in half. The Kings eventually won 5-4 in double overtime and now hold a 2-0 lead in the series.
There are a few variables to the blown call. For one, the Rangers lost momentum and gave up another goal just 5:38 later to tie the game at 4-4. The crowd at Staples Center sprung back to life and got extremely into it after the King’s goal. It seemed like an easy enough call to make, especially after the Rangers got called on the same penalty earlier in the game on a play that was more harmless than King’s. But the biggest reason it ultimately doomed New York in Game 2 was the multiple goal swing it could have been.
The Rangers should have gotten a power play, and if they had scored on it, the game would have been 5-2 New York in the third period. Instead the game was 4-3, a drastic difference against a Kings team that never goes away.
It’s hockey— there are going to be some pucks that don’t bounce your way and there are bound to be a few bad calls, but the missed call in Game 2 heavily changed the situation and maybe the outcome of the game. I say it maybe dictated the outcome of the game because the Rangers still had the lead after the King’s goal, but they failed again to hold a lead against Los Angeles.
Now the question is can the Rangers use this as motivation to get back into this series, or will they feel sorry for themselves getting a bad call and crumble to a disappointing end?