Landeskog: Bolts can keep criticizing officiating, but Avalanche won't
Gabriel Landeskog took a subtle jab at his opponents when asked about the officiating following Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Friday.
The Lightning defeated the Avalanche 3-2 in Denver to force Game 6 thanks to Ondrej Palat's goal with 6:22 remaining in the third period. Colorado's bid to tie the contest was hindered when the officials whistled the home side for too many men with 2:43 left in regulation.
Two nights earlier, Bolts head coach Jon Cooper lamented Tampa's Game 4 loss that came on Nazem Kadri's overtime winner but only hinted at a missed call. During an unusual press conference, the bench boss said he was heartbroken for his players and "you're going to see what I mean when you see the winning goal." Cooper added, "we probably still should be playing," but didn't specify the reason.
Video and photo evidence later revealed a missed too many men infraction that would have negated the goal. The initial game sheet noted there were six Colorado skaters and a goaltender on the ice for the winner, but the NHL eventually updated the sheet by removing one Avalanche skater.
The league then said its hockey operations department spoke to the referees and linesmen after Game 4 - as is customary - and all four officials said they didn't see too many men for Colorado on the play.
As for Game 5, the officials gave the Lightning four power plays and handed the Avalanche two. They called five penalties on Colorado and assessed Tampa Bay with three. The Bolts scored during a four-on-three situation when Nikita Kucherov buried his first goal of the series midway through the second period.
The Lightning cut Colorado's series lead to 3-2 with Friday's victory. Game 6 is scheduled for Sunday night in Tampa.