BOSTON -- Carolina's Chad LaRose thought he had given his team a 3-0 lead with less than three seconds remaining in the second period when he roofed a rebound of a Dennis Seidenberg shot off the underside of the crossbar behind Boston goalie Tim Thomas.
But referee Dan O'Halloran immediately signaled no goal, even as the Hurricanes celebrated and time expired. The puck came straight down after hitting the cross bar and O'Halloran ruled the entire puck never crossed the goal line, which is the criteria for a goal in the NHL. Any part of the puck touching any part of the goal line means no goal.
After a lengthy review by the situation room in Toronto, there was no clear and compelling evidence to show that the entire puck had indeed crossed the goal line.
"This review was as difficult as we get," said Mike Murphy, Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations. "It took so much time because we need conclusive proof (to change a no-goal or goal call made on the ice). Even with all those tight (and high-definition) views, I could not conclusively say that the puck was entirely across the goal line."
Murphy said the net twine partly obstructed an overhead view on both the Versus and TSN telecasts that might have prompted some fans to speculate LaRose had scored.
"As the overhead camera view is enhanced, both the red line and the white ice become more blurred and the net meshing becomes more of an obstruction," said Murphy. "After looking at it numerous times from several different angles, I can't say with 100 percent certainty that the puck was completely over the line."
The ruling gave Boston a little bit of life as it headed immediately to the locker room to regroup after falling behind 2-0 in a dominating second period by the Canes, who got goals from Joe Corvo and Matt Cullen. It also revved up the Bruin crowd, which was booing the team just moments earlier for an ineffective power play.
Carolina was clearly disappointed in the ruling, trudging to the dressing room. But, the team has to be buoyed by the fact that they are the first club to have a lead against Boston after the first period in these playoffs