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Officials miss broken stick in Hurricanes’ OT-forcing goal vs. Rangers

There was free hockey played inside PNC Arena on Thursday, and it came with some drama.

With the Carolina Hurricanes facing a 2-1 deficit in the waning minutes of the third period — and the potential of going down 3-0 to the New York Rangers in the series — coach Rod Brind’Amour pulled goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov to bring in an extra skater in hopes of forcing overtime in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference series in the NHL playoffs.

The move paid off for Brind’Amour, as Hurricanes right wing Andrei Svechnikov tapped one into the back of the net with 1:36 to go in regulation for the pulled-goalie goal, tying the game at 2-2 against the Rangers.

However, Svechnikov’s goal wasn’t enough for the Hurricanes to cut the series deficit to one, as Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin called game less than two minutes into overtime, getting one past Kochetkov. With Panarin’s game-winning goal, New York now leads the series 3-0 — its seventh consecutive win of the postseason, which tied a franchise record.

Svechnikov scores controversial goal

Svechnikov’s game-tying goal wasn’t without controversy: Sebastian Aho deflected a Brady Skjei shot, seeming to break his stick in the process. Seconds later, Svechnikov scored the game-tying goal with Aho still holding the broken stick.

According to Rule 10.3 of the NHL rulebook, ‘a player whose stick is broken may participate in the game provided he drops the broken stick. A minor penalty shall be imposed for an infraction of this rule.’

Minor penalties are not reviewable — meaning the goal stood as called on the ice. Here’s a video of the play, where you can see Aho’s stick breaking in front of the net:

It ultimately did not matter with the Rangers’ victory, though it stood to be a point of controversy had the Rangers lost in overtime.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY

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