NEW YORK – It was an odd sight – all of the Capitals and Rangers skating around the ice like pregame warm-ups. Except this was early in the second period. The previous whistle was oddly timed too, but it was because referee Chris Rooney appeared to trip and hurt his knee while skating behind the net and was injured.
Rooney was clearly in pain while being attended to along the boards and had to leave the game 3:44 into the second. Both teams were forced to wait out a delay of about 10 minutes while standby referee Frederick L’Ecuyer got ready to enter the game.
If this were a player injury with the Caps, the official statement would undoubtedly be that Rooney was being evaluated with a lower-body injury and his return would be deemed “questionable.” But in all seriousness, he did not look in any shape to stay in the game, so L’Ecuyer got the call.
The Rangers took advantage of the delay much more than the Caps. John Carlson was whistled for cross-checking less than a minute after play resumed (it was called by Tim Peel). New York cashed in with a power-play goal at the 5:30 mark as Erik Christensen scored from an odd angle on Michal Neuvirth.