By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Blues got off to a great start on home ice for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Blues controlled the pace of play, outshooting and outhitting the Bruins through the first half of the first period.READ MORE: CDC Panel To Vote On Whether To Recommend Pfizer Vaccine For Kids 12-To-15
The second half of the period, though, didn’t quite go as planned for the home team, right down to the final seconds.
With Boston holding a 2-0 lead with just seconds remaining in the first period, the Blues appeared to be headed for a frustrating first intermission. But with Boston’s fourth line on the ice, things were about to get a lot more frustrating.
Sean Kuraly held the puck in the neutral zone with 15 seconds remaining in the opening period. He waited for Noel Acciari to clear the zone before sending a soft pass to Joakim Nordstrom near the neutral zone faceoff dot. Nordstrom never got possession of that puck, and Kuraly ended up jumping on the loose puck and firing a wrister past Jordan Binnington to give Boston a 3-0 lead.
That, though, is where things got interesting. The Blues opted to challenge the play, believing that Nordstrom was offside on the play. And upon first review, the Blues appeared to have made a very heady challenge.
Replay showed that Nordstrom did indeed cross the blue line prior to the puck fully crossing the blue line, and there was reason for the home team to believe that this goal would be coming off the board.
Yet when Kelly Sutherland stepped to center ice to make his announcement, he declared, “After review, it was determined that the play was onside. The call on the ice stands. We have a goal. St. Louis is assessed a bench minor penalty.”READ MORE: Chick-fil-A Experiencing Sauce Shortage
Everyone who saw the replay had to have been perplexed upon hearing this ruling, but NBC Sports color commentator Ed Olczyk was quick with the explanation: Blues defenseman Joel Edmundson — and not Nordstrom — was the one who directed the puck into the St. Louis zone.
Replay showed that Kuraly’s pass to Nordstrom was intercepted by Edmundson, and the puck only hit Edmundson’s stick before entering the Blues’ zone.
“If that was Nordstrom that had touched the puck in that particular situation,” Olcyzk explained, “then they would have overturned it.”
The goal stood, and to make matters worse, the Blues were assessed a two-minute minor penalty for being wrong on the challenge. Boston’s power play went 1-for-1, with Patrice Bergeron redirecting a Torey Krug feed just 21 seconds into the man adavantage to open the scoring midway through the first. So, the prospect of giving a free power play to Boston made the missed challenge sting even more.
And, well, sure enough, David Pastarnak scored just 41 seconds into the second period. The Bruins capitalized on that free power play, and they led 4-0.MORE NEWS: Employer Vaccination Program Coming Soon In Massachusetts
The Blues showed in just a minute of game time how quickly things can go from bad to worse in the NHL postseason.