CHICAGO -- Another officiating controversy has found the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks had a goal disallowed due to an early whistle during the first period of their 2-1 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals.
On the play, Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews skated behind the net and attempted a wraparound. Toews was stuffed in the net's corner by Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask's left leg. Rask quickly readjusted himself and laid his entire body the length of the net to cover the puck. As Rask was on the ice, Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa saw the puck under Rask's pads, jabbed at it with his stick and the puck crossed the line.
Behind the net, referee Wes McCauley was said to have blown his whistle to end the play. The play was reviewed and was ruled not a goal.
In an email, the NHL explained its decision: "At 12:32 of the first period in the Blackhawks/Bruins game, video review was initiated by the NHL Situation Room because the puck entered the Boston net. The referee had blown the play dead prior to Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa pushing the goaltender's pads and the puck across the goal line. No goal Chicago."
The Blackhawks weren't sure whether the whistle was ever blown on the play.
"He said his intention was to blow the whistle," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
Hossa said he never heard a whistle to end the play.
"I just tried to battle for the space and all of a sudden I saw the loose puck and I tried to put my stick at the puck," Hossa said. "I just felt the puck was crossing the line and the ref said he made the whistle. I didn't hear the whistle, but there was so much noise in the building so I don't know if the referee made the whistle so early or not. But they decided and we have to move on."
The goal may have cost the Blackhawks the game, but they didn't place the blame on the officials.
"I thought the whistle blew a little bit early," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "But I guess when he doesn't see the puck, that's what he's going to do. … It's frustrating when the bounces don't go your way, but it is what it is. We'll go back and do the same thing and try to find a way to score."
Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp said, "I wasn't there. Obviously the ref made the call that he felt was right. I'm not sure if the puck actually crossed or not. You couldn't really see on the jumbotron. Those guys, they make the right call most times. I can't really comment on it."
The Blackhawks also dealt with an officiating controversy in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Detroit Red Wings when a goal was waved off due to coincidental penalties behind the play and in Game 3 of that series when a goal was disallowed because Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw was called for interference on the goaltender.