The Florida Panthers defeated the Washington Capitals 3-2 in overtime on Monday night, which helped the NHL with what would have been an extremely controversial moment had the game gone in the Caps' favour.
At the midway point of the third period, Capitals forward T.J. Oshie laid a punishing hit on Sam Bennett, who was carrying the puck up the ice. Right after the hit, the Capitals gained possession and Evgeny Kuznetsov gave them a 2-1 lead.
Replays showed that Oshie appeared to catch Bennett with a shoulder directly to the head, which could have resulted in at least a minor penalty, if not a five-minute major. However, neither referee called the incident, which led to the Capitals scoring the go-ahead goal.
The Panthers were able to tie the score late, as Sam Reinhart fired one past Ilya Samsonov on the glove-hand side to send the game to overtime.
Despite tying the game, Panthers supporters and many other fans and analysts throughout the league were not happy there was no call on Oshie. There could have been serious implications if the Capitals had gone on to win the game, given that they would have taken a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Presidents' Trophy winners.
Reverse angle shows this was Oshie lifting shoulder into Bennett's head. Hit happened right before the go-ahead goal. https://t.co/jZbyywPMhi
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) May 10, 2022
What what universe is this a no-call? Unbelievable. 🗑 pic.twitter.com/kLUdLOPAGX
— p - Imran Siddiqui (@ImranSiddiquiFL) May 10, 2022
“It this hit is on Ovechkin, Bennett is out of the game”
Ed Jovanosvki on the Oshie hit on Sam Bennett in the 3rd period. #TimeToHunt
— David (@David954FLA) May 10, 2022
Sam Bennett literally sat on the bench covered in blood from the T J Oshie dirty hit
And a goal as a result of the hit??
Doesn’t make sense to me at all.
Terrible call. #BennettWasHit
— Adam Reid (@AdamReid_) May 10, 2022
The Panthers were able to stay focused and not let their frustrations over the non-call get to them, as they went on to win less than five minutes into overtime as Carter Verhaeghe fired home his second goal of the night.
After looking like they could be eliminated early in upset fashion, the Panthers now have a ton of momentum as they return home for Game 5, which is set to take place on Wednesday night.
We'll have to wait and see if the NHL Department of Player Safety has anything in store for Oshie in the coming hours.
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