As the clock wound down during Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Final, Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper pulled goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy in hopes of coming back from a three-goal hole.
With 3:43 left in the third period, Nicklas Backstrom officially put the game out of reach, knocking the puck into the empty net.
Or did he? We did some investigating.
In slo-mo video, fourth-line center Jay Beagle actually is the one who appears to have scored the Caps’ fourth and final goal of the night.
The blade of Beagle’s stick never leaves the puck, even as Backstrom’s clanks off of his.
Meanwhile, the NHL still is crediting Backstrom with the goal.
While who gets credit for the tally doesn’t change who won the game, Beagle is an unrestricted free agent after the season and the goal could net him more cash over the summer. The hard-working forward does not get many opportunities for offense and three goals during a Stanley Cup Final run looks a lot better than two.