The Caps quickly lost their early lead after a pair of power-play goals from Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos. The goals themselves were pretty and well-earned by Tampa; the penalties that made them possible: not so much.
About seven minutes in, Tom Wilson got busted for goalie interference.
Wilson makes contact, albeit light, with goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, but the video above shows Wilson on the receiving end of a hook from Chris Kunitz a moment before.
Rule 69.1 (don’t) of the NHL rulebook addresses this:
If an attacking player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by a defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with the goalkeeper, such contact will not be deemed contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.
Kunitz’s hook may or may not contribute to Wilson’s collision with Vasilevskiy, but at least it should have resulted in matching minors. At best it should have been a power play for Washington. Instead, Brayden Point scored while Tampa had a man advantage, tying the game 1-1.
Less than two minutes later, TJ Oshie was whistled for high-sticking Victor Hedman. Just one problem: Oshie did not high-stick Hedman.
The puck hits Hedman. Oshie’s stick does not. This is not a penalty. The referees, Brad Meier and Dan O’Halloran, met briefly to discuss before making the call official, but they did not appear to review the play. Steven Stamkos scored on the resulting power play, putting Tampa up 2-1 after one period.
As fans, we can be grumpy and indignant about how that period went and how much it cost the Caps. The team cannot afford to feel that way. Their priority must be to got to dig themselves out of this stupid, stupid hole.
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