The Minnesota Wild fell to the Dallas Stars with the help a no goal that was overturned by the National Hockey League early in the second period. The Stars were given a goal on a review to get on the board first before winning 2-1 Saturday at the American Airlines Center.
The story of the game will not be that the Wild missed opportunities to score first (Mikael Granlund could have had a hat trick, including a wide-open net one-timer that he shot wide, and Nino Niederreiter had a breakaway) in the opening period. It will not be the back-and-forth play of the third period. It not be the Wild’s defensive breakdown that led the eventual game-winning goal. It will be a controversial review decision by the league.
Stars agitator Antoine Roussel kicked the puck over the net, off Devan Dubnyk and into the net. The original call on the ice was no goal. The league initiated a review and after a long deliberation with referee Brad Meier, who immediately and emphatically waved it off, decided it was a good goal. Everything about it was no goal.
First, the referee called it no goal on the ice. The league had to find indisputable video evidence to declare it a good goal. All angles appeared to show the opposite. The review actually confirmed the call on the ice, not overturn.
Second, Roussel appeared to kick the puck. Players are allowed to re-direct the puck into the net, but not kick it in. It looks more like he tried to kick the puck to his stick and flubbed it. It is still a kicking motion. The rule states that players cannot kick the puck directly into the net nor off the goaltender. The puck went off Roussel’s skate, with a kicking motion, off Dubnyk and into the net. The review should have been over at that and the scoreless tie remain.
Third, Dubnyk pinned the puck against the crossbar. The only reason it fell into the net is because the net went out of place. Several respectable national pundits, including longtime referee Kerry Fraser, were dumbfounded at how it could be overturned. The NHL could not have gotten this call any more incorrect.
The Stars (2-0) took a 2-0 lead at the 10:23 mark of the third period when Jamie Benn got behind the Wild’s defense for a breakaway. He slid the puck between Dubnyk’s legs for his second of the series.
The Wild (0-2) finally got a shot past Kari Lehtonen with 7 minutes, 18 seconds left in the third period, 112:42 into the series. Marco Scandella, who had a tough night handling the puck, blasted a slap shot from the point over Lehtonen’s glove while on the power play.