SUNRISE, Fla. | The puck was in the net and the Florida Panthers were celebrating, but referee Stephane Auger stood behind the Washington Capitals’ net and waved his arms to disallow the goal.
When he and Dennis LaRue conferred, they went to an official NHL review in Toronto. A lengthy delay followed.
“We were a little bit confused and obviously getting a little worried when he was looking at it for so long,” Caps defenseman Karl Alzner said.
It was called a good goal for the Panthers and Stephen Weiss, and the explanation the Caps received seemed to line up with many replays.
“[Auger] said that they went upstairs because he called it off because he thought he punched it in with his hand and we thought he called it off because it was goalie interference. He seemed to think that there was no goalie interference,” Alzner said. “We were all wondering why he was going upstairs because you can’t go upstairs to overturn that kind of call.”
Replays indicated that Weiss did make contact with goaltender Michal Neuvirth, though it was as the puck was going into the net. The puck took some weird bounces on its way there, careening in off Weiss’ shoulder blade.
“The guy said he seen the guy knock it in; that’s why he waved it off,” coach Dale Hunter said. “They back in where they do it in Toronto there, they said no.”