Gerard Gallant wanted penalty called on Capitals’ fifth goal

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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

MORE:
• NBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Hub
• Stanley Cup Final Guide

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

Ilya Mikheyev
Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports
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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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David Kirouac/USA TODAY Sports
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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.