The New York Rangers were able to take care of business in a must-win situation during Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarter Finals against the Ottawa Senators, holding on for a 3-2 victory and forcing a deciding 7th game back at the friendly confines of Madison Square Garden in New York.
But the win wasn't without some controversy, and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made his thoughts perfectly clear afterwards.
The Rangers and Lundqvist in particular argued that a late Senators goal that cut the score to one goal should have been waived off due to the fact that he felt Senators forward Chris Neil, better known for the use of his fists rather than appearing on the scoresheet, kicked in the puck with his skate.
Check it out for yourself:
After a lengthy review, the goal was allowed to stand. Thankfully for the Rangers, it's as close as the Senators would get. They were able to hold them off from tying the score, earning a hard-fought win. And while he was being congratulated by his teammates, Lundqvist could be seen (and heard) immediately turning towards the on-ice officials, and letting them know in no uncertain terms how he'd review their performance.
The NHL provided the following explanation direct from the war room in Toronto, explaining the controversy:
"At 19:21 of the third period in the Rangers/Senators game, video review was used to determine if Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil kicked the puck into the New York net. Video review was inconclusive in determining if Chris Neil’s left skate propelled the puck into the net. Call on the ice stands, good goal Ottawa."
Lundqvist himself remained steamed after the game, even going so far as to suggest that the NHL wanted Ottawa to make things interesting.
"It's an absolute joke. Oh my god, it scares me. It's such an obvious play, goalie interference, and a kick. And they still call it a goal? That scares me, that someone can call that. It still upsets me," he said after the game.
"Someone wants them back in the game obviously. There's no other explanation. "