By any measure, the Los Angeles Kings–San Jose Sharks series is essentially a coin flip. The two Pacific Division, California rivals have an intense history and make for the most evenly-matched firs round series. So every goal, and every mistake, will be amplified.
In Game 1 Thursday night, the referees may have made a huge and costly mistake.
About halfway through the second period with the game tied 2-2, a delayed penalty was being indicated against the Kings as the Sharks cycled the puck. It went on long enough for the Sharks to get a sixth skater on the ice for the pulled goalie. Justin Braun took a slap shot on net that bounced back out to Tomas Hertl who, after taking a few whacks at it, appeared to score to give the Sharks the lead.
But hold on.
The whistle was clearly blown before the puck crossed the line, but the referee at the goal line who blew the play dead indicated a high-stick on the Sharks (and not because Los Angeles had possession). But if you watch the video above, there doesn’t appear to be a high-stick.
Sportsnet’s Mike Johnson was between the benches and said: “Kevin Pollock the referee comes over and says ‘we missed it. What can we do, we missed it.'”