Delay of game confusion, Dorsett debut

With the game tied 0-0 and time winding down, the New York Rangers thought they’d have one more power-play opportunity in regulation when the puck deflected off Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner’s stick and sailed over the glass with less than 46 seconds left in the third period.

Despite a lengthy stoppage in play and what looked like some huddling between the officials, a delay of game penalty wasn’t called on Alzner, leaving the Rangers puzzled.

Ultimately, it was determined that the penalty was not called because it was deflected. According to the rulebook, specifically rule 63.2, a player must shoot or bat the puck over the ice to be subject to a minor penalty. The play was not reviewable by the league’s Situation Room.

"The puck was there and it wasn’t shot out," Alzner said after the Capitals' 1-0 overtime win. "It was tipped out and that was all they said."

Coincidentally, Alzner said he was thinking about what the ruling on that type of play would be on Friday night.

"It’s actually weird. I was thinking about that last night," he said. "I was thinking, if that play ever happened, what would the call be? And I guess it’s discretionary, whatever they decide. So I was happy they decided that."

Asked his thoughts about the rule, coach John Tortorella didn’t care to take issue with it.

"It’s a rule," he said.

• • •

Both Derek Dorsett and Brian Boyle returned to the lineup for the Rangers and Tortorella said he was pleased with their play.

"They played well," he said. "We changed the lines to try to create some more offense and also due to some matchups."

Dorsett, who flanked former Columbus Blue Jackets teammate Derick Brassard for most of the game, set a physical tone with his play in his Rangers debut. It was the first game back for the gritty 26-year-old since suffering a broken collarbone back in March while still playing for Columbus, and he tried to test it early with a hit on Caps defenseman Steven Oleksy during his first shift.

Dorsett finished with two hits, one shot and two penalties in his first game as a Blueshirt, a match he had been anticipating ever since being traded to New York at the deadline in April.

"There were a lot of emotions going into the game. I was up early in the morning like a little kid at Christmas," Dorsett said.

Boyle started the game between Darroll Powe and Arron Asham but was later awarded some shifts between Taylor Pyatt and Dorsett.

The hulking centerman, who suffered a lower-body injury April 16 in Philadelphia, finished with one shot, two hits and went 2-for-5 from the faceoff circle in 5:57 over 10 shifts.