Detroit goalie thought that the deciding goal shouldn’t have counted following the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 2-4 win to the Red Wing on Tuesday night.
Video replay in the third period confirmed Cam Atkinson scored a goal, and Ryan Johansen added an empty-netter for his second time of the game to lead the Blue Jackets to win the match, tightening the already close Eastern Conference playoff race.
Matt Calvert made a shot from the left wing which was stopped by Howard, although the puck exploded loose behind the goalie. While Atkinson was racing down the right wing, he got a blow from Detroit defenseman Brendan Smith. As he backhanded the loose puck in to the cage, Atkinson’s leg knocked the net while the ball was sliding away from the goal line.
Since Smith’s hit on Atkinson had knocked the net loose at 6:58 of the third round, the goal was considered good, sparking cheers from the 15,103 fans.
This brought an 80 points tie for Detroit, Columbus, Washington, and Toronto for places 7-10 in the East. The Blue Jackets win any tiebreaker, and Columbus and Detroit each have 10 games left, while the Capitals have 9 and maple Leafs 8.
Columbus had won one out of four.
Johansen said they got some fortunate bounces they didn’t need after goals 28 and 29.
Blue Jacket coach Todd Richard said that he was hopeful after that night’s match he hoped not to get any more questions about the power play, adding that when they scored the first one, he knew they would not stop talking about it.
Red Wings coach said that it didn’t matter what he obviously thought that they made the decision, adding that he never knew the goal would count but they evidently thought his guy pushed their guy in, making it a goal. He added that there was no sense disputing that noting that they had to get one more goal.
Gustav Nyquist, which was No. 1 star in the NHL last week, has maintained its position with two goals for the Red Wings, who were 3-0-1 in their previous four. He has scored 20 goals in the last 24 games.
Talking of his two goals, Gustav said that it didn’t really matter and it was an important game they had to forget and move on.