SAN JOSE (CBS SF/AP) — National Hockey League officials apologized to the Las Vegas Golden Knights Thursday for a blown call in the team’s Game 7 playoff overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks.
With the Knights leading 3-0, San Jose captain Joe Pavelski was cross-checked by Cody Eakin after a faceoff and fell awkwardly, with his helmet slamming on the ice. He was knocked out and bleeding on the ice before being helped to the locker room.
Eakin was called for a 5-minute major penalty. The Sharks took advantage, scoring four goals on the ensuing power play and eventually won 5-4 in overtime.
The Knights have been angry since Tuesday night, complaining that the cross-checked did not deserve the 5-minute major but should have been accessed a lesser penalty.
“The league did reach out and apologize,” said Vegas general manager George McPhee. “They made a mistake and I’m sure (the officials) feel bad about it. They want to get things right like we all do when we’re doing our jobs.”
McPhee told ESPN that the organization would not be holding any “pity parties.”
“But with respect to this organization, there will be no pity parties,’ he told the sports network. “We’re not feeling sorry for ourselves. Stuff happens in games. We’re going to take the rearview mirror out and move forward and put a real good team on the ice next year. We’re not going to carry around a big suitcase full of yesterdays. That’s not going to happen.”
ESPN asked McPhee if the Knights might support a rule change that could allow major penalty calls to be reviewed by the NHL situation room.
“I think that’s for the league to determine, if they want to do anything additional,” he said. “I haven’t thought it through enough.”
Meanwhile, Sharks Coach Peter DeBoer said Thursday that Pavelski is officially day to day but is not expected to be cleared for Game 1 against the Avalanche on Friday night.