WINNIPEG – For the second time in three games, Tommy Wingels found himself in the middle of a controversial play in overtime.
Against the Jets on Sunday night, Wingels was battling in front of the net with Winnipeg defenseman Grant Clitsome when contact was made with goaltender Ondrej Pavalec. As play continued, Patrick Marleau deposited what looked to be the game-winner with two minutes left, but the goal was immediately waved off by the referee, who deemed that Pavelec was “unable to do his job” because of the incidental contract. No penalty was called on the play.
Wingels gave his interpretation of what happened after the game, which the Sharks went on to lose in a shootout, 5-4. It was San Jose’s fifth straight loss (0-1-4).
“I thought it was two guys battling in front,” Wingels said. “[Pavelec] bumped me, which initiated the contact, I thought. As the play proceeded, I thought it moved out of the crease, which was my area. But, the ref made the call, and it’s over with.”
Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said: “I think if you’re a Shark you’re questioning it, and if you’re a Jet you agree with the call. It’s a discretionary call that occurs in a game. He was allowed to make the first save easily. It’s the second one, the rebound, and I don’t know who has the right to that ice. I don’t understand it, but we move on.”
Dan Boyle, who was on the ice for the play, disagreed with the ruling.
“I think that’s a good goal,” Boyle said. “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that right there. We got a point taken away.”
Against Buffalo on Tuesday, Wingels looked to have the game won when he pushed home a loose puck in overtime. Referee Mike Leggo seemed to lose track of it, though, and no video review was conducted at the NHL’s War Room in Toronto. The league later deemed that Leggo had an “intent to blow” the play dead before the puck crossed the goal line.