By Eric Fish
There was a goal that shouldnâ€™t have counted, a blatant blown penalty call, and four Edmonton Oiler goals in the third period that sparked a comeback effort and 4-3 win over the Red Wings in game six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.
With the win, Edmonton advances in the playoffs to the second round while the Red Wings ponder what went wrong and general manger Ken Holland works to fill voids in the lineup.
Leading 2-0 heading into the third period, Detroit appeared well on its way to forcing a deciding game seven in the series.
Then a dumb penalty was taken, Edmonton got on the board and kept rolling when a blown defensive effort led to another Oilers goal and a tie game.
Between the first two Edmonton tallies, Red Wings defenseman Brett Lebda was clearly elbowed with an open-ice shot to the face that injured the 24-year old rookie and sent him out of the game. No penalty was called on the play.
But the officiating would get even more ridiculous.
After Johan Franzen scored on a rebound to give the Wings a 3-2 lead, Shawn Horcoff high-sticked a puck over to Ales Hemsky at the side of the net, who then appeared to kick it past Manny Legace for the tying goal.
The high-stick should have been blown dead on the spot. It wasnâ€™t, but that part of the play isnâ€™t reviewable by rule.
After a lengthy review of the kicking motion, officials called the play a goal. Hemsky was shown on many Fox Sports Net replays clearly making a kicking motion with the puck. There were two rule violations that were surpassed in calling the play a goal. Itâ€™s time the NHL takes the time to understand what is and isnâ€™t legal so something like that never happens again. It cost the Red Wings the game and the series.
The controversial goal ultimately deflated the Red Wings and another Oilers goal was enough to score the first-round upset on the regular seasonâ€™s best team.