Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
After Tom Wilson gave the Washington Capitals the lead early in the third period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Caps were in the driver’s seat for their first Cup final game win in franchise history. However there were two controversial plays that might’ve been the turning point that led to a 6-4 win for the Vegas Golden Knights.
At 2:41 of the third period, there was traffic in front of the net. As Tomas Nosek was trying to feed Ryan Reaves the puck, Reaves pushed down Caps defenseman John Carlson in front of the net and scored to tie the game. A cross-check without a call.
— Marina Molnar (@mkmolnar) May 29, 2018
Carlson was upset after the goal and non call.
— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) May 29, 2018
Carlson wasn’t the only one. Mike Milbury of NBC, who often receives a lot of backlash from Capitals fans over bias against the team, could not believe no call was made and gave his two cents on NBC’s postgame show:
“It is absolutely ludicrous. This is like a receiver in football, pushing down his defensive back in the end zone and catching the touchdown pass by himself. It’s just unforgivable. You’ve got two officials, one you can see right there – make the call. You have to make the call. It’s the turning point in the game. This is just not right at all. If you’re a Washington fan or John Carlson and you think you got bagged, you did. You got sandbagged right here. He’s got every right to be this angry at officials who missed it.”
The Capitals fell behind when Nosek gave them the lead at 9:44 and desperately tried to tie it back up to force overtime. Late in the third with under two minutes to go, the Capitals pulled Braden Holtby for an extra attacker.
With 42 seconds to go, Tom Wilson had a clean look to Lars Eller who had a wide open net in front of him but missed the pass. On a replay, Golden Knights defensemen Brayden McNabb slashed Eller’s left skate perhaps causing a distraction for the Capitals center as the pass was coming toward him.
this is literally the game. and the refs didn’t call it, incredible pic.twitter.com/H44VB3e4T6
— francovechkin (@sicolol) May 29, 2018
You can’t change last night but you can put it behind you and refocus. The Capitals get a chance to even the series on Wednesday night in Game 2. Puck drop is at 8 p.m. on the east coast.
By Michael Marzzacco