WASHINGTON — After giving up four consecutive goals to start Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final the Vegas Golden Knights attempted to scratch their way back into it with with a third period rally to cut the deficit in half.
Things, however, quickly derailed again when Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny scored off the rush to give his team some much-needed insurance and put the game away.
The play was set up in the offensive zone when T.J. Oshie completed a drop pass to Nicklas Backstrom inside the blue line, which was followed by Backstrom sending a perfect cross-ice pass to a wide open Kempy to finish the play.
Just as Oshie dropped the puck off for Backstrom he delivered a hit to Golden Knights defenseman Colin Miller as he pursued the play, completely taking him out of it.
You can see it in the video above.
After the game Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant seemed frustrated with the lack of a call on Oshie, while also revealing that Miller suffered a broken nose on the play.
“They didn’t see a penalty on it,” said Gallant when asked if he was given an explanation by the officials. “I think everybody saw it. It’s a 4-2 hockey game, he gave him a pretty good elbow, broke his nose, what do you do? They said they didn’t see it. No explanation they said they didn’t see a penalty.”
“Hopefully everybody has seen it and said where’s the call there?”
One person that did not see it that way: Former NHL referee Kerry Fraser.
As frustrated as Gallant and the Golden Knights may have been, Fraser’s take seems to be pretty accurate because you see “reverse hits” like that get thrown all the time without calls being made on the ice.
Closer looks at the replay seem to reveal Oshie didn’t actually catch Miller in the head with his elbow and that the broken nose was likely the result of Miller hitting Oshie’s helmet.
Still, his frustration is understandable. At that point it is still a two-goal game with a lot of time still left in regulation. Kempny’s goal was a huge swing and completely ended Vegas’ comeback attempt.
Earlier in the series Vegas was on the other side of a non-call when Ryan Reaves scored a game-tying goal late in the third period of Game 1 after he cross-checked John Carlson in the back directly in front of the net.
Tensions seemed to escalate after that play as the two teams combined for 34 penalty minutes in the final six minutes of regulation, including 10-minute misconducts for Oshie and Vegas teammates Ryan Reaves and Deryk Engelland.
Stanley Cup Final schedule
Game 1 Monday, May 28 – Golden Knights 6, Capitals 4
Game 2 Wednesday, May 30 – Capitals 3, Golden Knights 2
Game 3 Saturday, June 2 – Capitals 3, Golden Knights 1
Game 4 Monday, June 4 – Capitals 6, Golden Knights 2 (Capitals lead series 3-1)
Game 5 Thursday, June 7 – Capitals at Golden Knights, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
Game 6* Sunday, June 10 – Golden Knights at Capitals, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
Game 7* Wednesday, June 13 – Capitals at Golden Knights, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
* = If necessary