There are calls in every game that are missed or are made when they should or shouldn't be made. That doesn't change from the preseason to the postseason. But some of those calls are just a little bit bigger than others because of how they affect a game.
And boy was there one that affected the game on Monday night.
Just 1:45 earlier, the Senators had been the benefactors of a somewhat questionable goaltender interference call to put them on the man advantage. The Ottawa power play was wiped out 1:30 into the power play creating a 4-on-4 situation then Nick Foligno was called for goaltender interference of his own.
Let's just say the Senators and their fans weren't too pleased with this call.
With that the Rangers had an extended look at 5-on-3 time and, well, Brad Richards took advantage, hammering home the tie-breaking goal, a lead that New York wouldn't relinquish.
You could argue that the two calls wiped each other out, a bad interference call for a bad interference call. Although this one was definitely worse than the call against the Rangers a short while earlier, they weren't even. The difference between the two was that this penalty on Foligno set up a 5-on-3, not a 5-on-4.
I want to be clear here, I am not saying this call was the reason why the Senators lost. It wasn't. What it was, though, was a turning point in the game, right or wrong.
In fact, to the Rangers' credit in the bad-calls against department, the Senators scored a goal with 38 seconds that was, well, a tough one to swallow. It appeared like Chris Neil might have kicked it in, but just as easily goalie interference could have been called there to stop the goal from counting at all. Both calls went against New York.
That one might have been even worse than the call against Foligno. Henrik Lundqvist was just a bit peeved about the call immediately following the score and even still after the game.
"It's an absolute joke, it scares me that someone can call that [a goal]" Lundqvist said. "Someone wants them to get back in the game."
Here is the actual explanation given for the goal from the NHL's situation room.
At 19:21 of the third period in the Rangers/Senators game, video review was used to determine if Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil kicked the puck into the New York net. Video review was inconclusive in determining if Chris Neil's left skate propelled the puck into the net. Call on the ice stands, good goal Ottawa.
The call was so questionable that a player without horse in this race, Brenden Morrow of the Dallas Stars, was just a bit surprised at the call.
Who the hell reviewed that goal? Not a distinct kicking motion my a%#!! Wakey Wakey!!!! #idiots— Brenden Morrow (@Minimo1zero) April 24, 2012
So yes, the officiating wasn't tip-top. But you have to get over the calls in a game, they happen every night out. Really it was a bad second period for the Sens. They didn't really match the Rangers' desperate level through the final two periods.
The end result is that they're headed back to Madison Square Garden for Game 7. But Lundqvist will probably have to give the NHL some money before then.