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August 25, 2019

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Refs in controversial Vegas call not expected to work rest of playoffs

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Jeff Chiu/AP

San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski, right, lies on the ice next to Vegas Golden Knights center Cody Eakin during the third period of Game 7 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, April 23, 2019.

NHL referee Dan O’Halloran hasn’t missed working a conference final round in more than a decade, Scouting The Refs reports.

Yet, O’Halloran hasn’t been pegged to work a second-round series, the site reports. O’Halloran and Eric Furlatt were at the center of the controversial five-minute major penalty assessed to the Golden Knights’ Cody Eakin in Game 7 on Tuesday in San Jose, paving the way for the Sharks to score four unanswered goals on the power play to erase a three-goal deficit.

The Sharks wound up prevailing in overtime to end Vegas’ season. It was a painful first-round exit for a team that at one point in the series was the betting favorite to win the Stanley Cup.

The call sparked much controversy, and not only from Golden Knights players and their loyal fan base. It was the talk of the league. Vegas, after all, led 3-0 with less than nine minutes remaining when the penalty — arguably one of the worst in NHL playoff history — was called.

“It’s a (expletive) joke. It’s embarrassing is what it is,” forward Jonathan Marchessault said. “That call changes the whole outcome. Changes the whole future of us, the outcome of this year. It’s a joke. I’d be embarrassed if I was them.”

So much of a joke that O’Halloran and Furlatt, just like the Golden Knights, aren’t advancing.

The NHL's Department of Hockey Operations picks the referees who advance in the playoffs, and a league source said refs not chosen for earlier rounds are typically not added back later in the playoffs, ESPN reported.

 

 

Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21