The two plays – both shots from veteran forward Todd Bertuzzi
– stand out even more as the Wings were unable to overcome a two-goal deficit late in the third period, and now trail the Coyotes 2-1 in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinals series.
Game 4 is Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena.
In the second period, with the game knotted at 1-1, Bertuzzi got his own rebound, and poked the puck through Bryzgalov and into the goal. But the referees blew the play dead before the puck crossed the line.
The second disallowed goal, however, seemed to be more controversial. In the third period, with the Wings trailing by two, Henrik Zetterberg
skated into the Phoenix zone and began to circle the goal. He passed back to Bertuzzi, who beat Bryzgalov low to the stick side. The Wings suffered the same fate, as the referees ruled that the whistle had blown.
Bryzgalov said that on both occasions that he was driven into the net by Bertuzzi.
“First of all, first goal, the puck was between my skate and stick,” Bryzgalov said. “He just pushed my skate and me, and you can’t do that. If you’ve got a rebound, you can’t push the goalie. The same thing happened with the second goal, the puck was between my pad and between my stick, and he pushed me again. You can’t push the goalie into the net.”
Even with the goals disallowed, Bertuzzi, who was a plus-1 on Sunday, was the only Detroit player to finish the game with a positive plus/minus rating. He assisted on Johan Franzen
’s third-period goal.
After the game, Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom
discussed the explanation he got from the referees about the second disallowed goal.
“He said the whistle had blown,” Lidstrom said. “That’s why he called it. I couldn’t tell if he was just about to blow it, or if he had already blown it, but that was his call.”
Wings coach Mike Babcock implied that his team should have tried to stall longer so that off-ice officials could examine the play.
“I didn’t see anything,” Babcock said. “The referee just, I assume, told, because there was no review. We didn’t screw around long enough to get a review, that he had blown the whistle. That had nothing to do with the game though, they beat us, that’s it.”
The Coyotes also saw a questionable play go in the opposition’s favor, when forward Wojtek Wolski almost caught Wings’ goaltender Jimmy Howard
by surprise in the second period.
While looking away from the Wings’ goal, Wolski took a backhand shot, which struck Niklas Kronwall
’s skate, and almost went into the goal. Howard managed to keep the puck above the goal line while falling backwards into his net. The play was reviewed, and ruled in the Wings’ favor. [Watch Play and Review]