Note: Due to broadcast issues, Defending Big D was unable to see the game tonight in it's entirety. As such, the game recap will be brief.
Remember how strange things always seem to happen against the Kings in Staples Center? Well, that 'curse' struck again Saturday night as the Stars lost yet another game in the shootout. With the Stars playing as good a road game as you could hope for in the second game of a back-to-back and enjoying a 2-1 lead, Anze Kopitar tied the game with seven seconds remaining in the second period. The goal not only evened the score, but negated a solid effort by the Stars through two periods and put the game right back at square zero headed into the third period.
Once again, the Stars would find themselves in overtime. Alex Auld and Jonathan Quick were good in the extra period and, yet again, the Stars went to the shootout. This time, the Matt Niskanen magic didn't work as he failed to score in the third round, while Michal Handzus opened up the fourth round with a nifty backhand goal. The game fell on Mike Ribeiro's shoulders, and it looked as if he had indeed scored when the puck bounced off his skate and past Quick. Yet the officials ruled that when Quick poked the puck away, a save was made and therefore the 'rebound' goal was negated.
[Update by Brandon Bibb at 12:51 am CST] The NHL dedicates an entire section of it's rulebook to penalty shots.
This section pretty much clears up any controversy surrounding whether or not the officials on the ice made the correct ruling:
25.2 Procedure - The Referee shall ask to have announced over the public address system the name of the player designated by him or selected by the team entitled to take the shot (as appropriate). He shall then place the puck on the center face-off spot and the player taking the shot will, on the instruction of the Referee (by blowing his whistle), play the puck from there and shall attempt to score on the goalkeeper. The puck must be kept in motion towards the opponent’s goal line and once it is shot, the play shall be considered complete. No goal can be scored on a rebound of any kind (an exception being the puck off the goal post or crossbar, then the goalkeeper and then directly into the goal), and any time the puck crosses the goal line or comes to a complete stop, the shot shall be considered complete.
Simply put, as soon as Quick made contact with the puck and deflected it backwards, it didn't matter that the puck deflected off Ribeiro's skate and in. The play was over before the puck even got to Ribs' skate.
Whether it's a good rule, OTOH, is certainly up for debate.
[End of update]
It was a tough loss for the Stars, yet you have to be somewhat pleased with the overall effort. The Stars fell victim once more to a late period goal that turned the tide of the game, and the scored just two goals for the 12th time in 19 games; this vaunted offense we've been promised and hoping for has fallen apart over the past month.
The Stars now have three days off before facing Carolina on Wednesday night.