ST. LOUIS – Timo Meier handed a big win to Erik Karlsson and the San Jose Sharks.
Karlsson scored 5:23 into overtime after the officials missed a hand pass by Meier, and the Sharks rallied to beat the St. Louis Blues 5-4 on Wednesday night to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference final.
“I think we deserved to win this game,” Karlsson said. “At the end of the day I think neither team drew the shortest stick on any of the calls out there so it was a fair game.”
But it was the final sequence that likely will live on long after the series is over, possibly sparking a discussion about the NHL’s replay rules.
Meier used his right hand to knock a loose puck toward the front of the net. Gustav Nyquist then passed it over to Karlsson, who beat Jordan Binnington for his second goal of the game.
“Quick play and I’m not going to comment on the officiating,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “We found a way to win a game. I thought we had a great chance just before that, Timo Meier going in. It was a game of momentum swings and those quick plays happen all over the ice. Some get called, some get missed. We found a way to win.”
Binnington and the Blues complained immediately. They felt the play should have been blown dead when Nyquist got the puck, but it continued.
The officials huddled while Karlsson and the Sharks celebrated, but the goal stood.
“It’s a non-reviewable play,” NHL officiating supervisor Kay Whitmore told a pool reporter. “You can read between the lines. You can figure out what you want. You watched the video. But it’s just non-reviewable. I know that sounds like a cop-out answer, but that’s the truth.”
St. Louis coach Craig Berube bristled when asked about what happened.
“No explanation (from the officials),” Berube said. “What do you guys think? . There’s no reason to ask me. I have nothing to say about it.”
Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Friday night in St. Louis.
“Well yeah it was a hand pass, but we’re going to try and move forward and the league is going to take care of it like they’ve done so far in the playoffs,” Blues forward David Perron said. “It’s unacceptable but it’s OK.”
Meier was not available to the media after the game.
St. Louis led 4-3 before Logan Couture tied it with 61 seconds left in regulation. Joe Thornton scored twice for San Jose, and Martin Jones made 28 saves.
Perron had two goals for St. Louis, while Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen also scored. Colton Parayko had three assists, and Binnington made 27 stops.
The Blues trailed 2-0 after one and 3-1 in the second before rallying.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5