ST. LOUIS – The four officials huddled by the penalty box. Most San Jose Sharks had returned to the locker room and believed that Erik Karlsson's goal at overtime 5:23 had given them a Game 3 win and a 2-1 series in the Western Conference finals. None of St. Louis Blues had left the bench or ice and thought there was no chance that these officials could have missed the handshake of Shark's Timo Meier leading to that goal.
But they did. [1
"I really got an explanation, except that there is another set of rules for two different teams, so I'm sure they'll lose some sleep tonight after looking at it," St. Louis Captain Alex Pietrangelo said after Blues' 5-4 loss to San Jose who left them standing on the bench dumbfounded – at least those who were not on the ice crush their sticks in anger.  The NHL said that since Timo Meier's handpass was part of the sequence that led to Erik Karlsson's winning OT goal (above) and did not appear on the goal himself, it was not transparent. Scott Rovak / NHLI via Getty Images
Just over five minutes in overtime, Meier slipped into the ice and waved his stick in the puck. It was declined by St. Louis defenseman Colton Parayko and bouncing in the air, then by Meier's chest – and then he hovered it with his right glove. Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester kicked out his leg to stop it, but it trickled to Gustav Nyquist, who fed the puck to Karlsson for a shot that passed goalkeeper Jordan Binnington.
Sharks celebrated, and the blues swarmed officials. Binnington twisted his bird's glove up and down to indicate he saw a handshake. The blues were left on their bench and on the ice. The remaining Sharks walked into the locker room after the officials stated that the case would stand.
Binnington struck his stick in anger. Brayden Schenn did the same, broke it on the end boards. Many Blues players waved their arms on the bench in disbelief. But the officials left the ice under the cover of a canopy that protected them from the cups and cans that started throwing the rink from the upset fans at the Enterprise Center, who had then seen several replays of the hand go on the giant video screen.
In the guts of the arenas, loudspeakers of anger could be heard. General Manager of St. Louis, Doug Armstrong, hit the officials' locker room and shouted that the decision was "f — ing garbage".
What did Karlsson see on the game?
"We didn't play handball, were we?" He said after the game. "We played hockey. We deserved to win this game." At the end of the day, I don't think any team took the shorter pin on any of the calls. "Fair Play".
The Blues said they did not get an explanation for the call from the officials. Was it a handpass?
"What do you think about?" St. Louis coach Craig Berube asked the media during his post-game news conference.
Some reporters said "Yes."
"Don't ask me," he said. "There is no need to ask me. I have nothing to say about it."
In an official statement, the NHL said: "Games of this type cannot be reviewed. A handset that enters the network may be reviewed, but a handshake between teammates cannot be reviewed."
A pool reporter caught up with Kay Whitmore , NHL's officers of the series and asked if any of the officials saw the handshake.
"What [did they tell] me? It's a game that can't be reviewed. You can read between the lines. You can find out what you want. You watched the video, but it's just not reviewed, but it is the truth, Whitmore said.
Can the Toronto war room have penetrated a critical goal like this?
"How the rules are written, any chance to review is everything reviewed it is invisible," Whitmore said. the rules currently stand, the game is useless. "
As with many other conversations this after-season, the discussion happened quickly if the gig were to be extended to include this type of game.
"We're going there, huh? "David Perron from the Blues said." Yes, it's a handshake. The league will take care of what they have throughout the playoffs. "
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer passed the goat.
" It's for [commissioner] Gary Bettman and GMs. not for Pete DeBoer. I'm a coach. You want to ask me about the game? "He said.
The rest of the game seemed secondary to the overtime call, but it was a huge rally by Sharks.
After San Jose built a 2-0 lead in the first period, the second period will go down as Blues & Alexander 39 made a 1:18 hardcore feed from Ivan Barbashev, Joe Thornton made his second match just 18 seconds later Vladimir Tarasenko rocked in his first goal since match 4 against the Dallas Stars to cut it to 3-2. Perron kicked one past Martin Jones close up to tie it, then he again from just inside the blue line with Brent Burns in the box to hook, one of only two penalties as a rule, for a 4-3 point at 6:42 pm It broke a 0-for-18 stretch on the St. Louis power game dated to the Dallas Series game 3.
However, it does not break the Sharks. chances, with rookie goaltender doing as he does and standing in the tree But playoff pluck is in both of these roster and Shark's most reliable post season paladin struck again: Logan Couture, which so far was in control of Game 3, hid a puck past Binnington's pillow on the door step with Jones pulled at 18:59 by the third. Couture now has 20 points and 14 goals to lead the playoffs.
"I think it is one of those playoffs that we will look back for years on the road and say, wow, what competitor, which leader. But when you are in the heat of the moment, he just does what he does" , said DeBoer, who also praised Jones's game to make 15 saves in the third period and overtime.
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Blues tried to turn the page quickly into his locker, and that was the message echoed from the coach.
"It's hard to lose in overtime, the playoffs, anytime. We have to go on. We all have to go ahead and get ready for Game 4. It's really all you can do," Berube said. solid hockey game, but we were on the losing side of it. And there is nothing we can do about what happened. We just have to keep going. "
" Hey, things happen "also
" You know what? There are some conversations you will get. You will not get some. Everyone continues to talk about the hand pass, so it must have been something there, but at the end of the day there are calls that go both ways. It's the playoffs. It's adversity. You have to adjust, manage it, stay calm, says San Jose captain Joe Pavelski.
"If you get the extra call, good, keep playing, they are not trying to screw anyone, they really are not. They are good guys. It may not always seem so, but tonight we may have taken a break, but it There were a lot of breaks on both sides all night, the whole series. "
You can't help but notice huge breaks that have gone on Sharks road. For the second time in the late season, a critically blown call led to a San Jose win. In match 3 against St. Louis was a handshake that failed with officials who led to a game winning overtime goal. In Game 7 against the Vegas Golden Knights in the opening round, Sharks got a five-minute head that they should not have gotten, gathered with four goals in the third period and then won in overtime.
The NHL apologized to Vegas for the bottom-up call. It remains to be seen if the Blues will have a similar mea culpa before Game 4.