Goalie Miikka Kiprusoff maintained after the Chicago Blackhawks' 3-2 overtime win Thursday night that he was interfered with on Martin Havlat's game-winning goal. Calgary coach Mike Keenan said there was no doubt that Hawks forward Andrew Ladd impeded his netminder.
"I believe it was Ladd who did not try to stop his movement toward the net, and that's goaltender interference," Keenan said. "However, the officials saw it different or didn't make the call because of the excitement of overtime."
On the deciding goal, Ladd drove to the net. Replays showed Flames defenseman Jordan Leopold riding Ladd into the crease -- but Ladd made no particular effort to get avoid contact as Havlat let his shot go.
Neither referee, Eric Furlatt or Wes McCauley, felt that Ladd had committed interference.
"There will be a debate over whether [there was] goaltender interference," Keenan noted. "A couple of times they ran Kiprusoff over. It's certainly part of their game plan; it's a good plan if you can get away with it. So far, they have."
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville didn't deny that his team's strategy involves creating a ruckus in front of the opponent's net.
"Every game it's the same situation," he said. "You want to get traffic; you don't want [Kiprusoff] to see the puck.
"But on that play there, [Ladd] got hit into the goalie. That's what happened."
Havlat's goal punctuated a game filled with hard contact; there were 62 hits overall. Curtis Glencross knocked Hawks goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin on his back midway through the first, and Rene Bourque slammed Patrick Kane hard into the boards in the second period. Kane went in hard on Kiprusoff with just under a minute left.