Lightning’s 2OT winner in Game 1 was offside

Cue the controversy! The Montreal Canadiens may have been bitten by an unlucky bug on Friday when on further review, it appears that Kucherov's double-overtime winner in Game 1 was offside.

Controversy was the theme in Game 1 between the Montreal Candiens and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Nikita Kucherov thought he scored the winner early in the first overtime period, but it was called back. However, early in the second overtime stanza Kucherov scored again and, ironically, it stood when it probably shouldn’t have.

Upon review it appears Lightning forward Valtteri Filppula was offside as Tampa entered the zone seconds before Kucherov blasted a wrister by Carey Price.

Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien certainly thought it was a blown call saying “offside is black or white” unlike penalties, which are judgement calls.

“Losing a game on an offside, those things are not supposed to happen,” Therrien told reporters at the post-game press conference. “It was clearly an offside and we end up losing the game.”

Here is the how the NHL’s official rule book interprets offside:

Players of the attacking team must not precede the puck into the attacking zone. The position of the player’s skates and not that of his stick shall be the determining factor in all instances in deciding an off-side. A player is off-side when both skates are completely over the leading edge of the blue line involved in the play.

A player is on-side when either of his skates are in contact with, or on his own side of the line, at the instant the puck completely crosses the leading edge of the blue line regardless of the position of his stick. However, a player actually controlling the puck who shall cross the line ahead of the puck shall not be considered “off-side,” provided he had possession and control of the puck prior to his skates crossing the blue line.

It should be noted that while the position of the player’s skates is what determines whether a player is “off-side,” nevertheless the question of an “off-side” never arises until the puck has completely crossed the leading edge of the blue line at which time the decision is to be made.

If a player legally carries or passes the puck back into his own defending zone while a player of the opposing team is in such defending zone, the off-side shall be ignored and play permitted to continue.

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