The Tampa Bay Lightning's game-winning goal Tuesday night should have been nullified, according to Washington coach Bruce Boudreau.
Ryan Malone snapped a 3-3 tie at 5:47 of the third period and the Lightning held on for a 4-3 triumph In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, pushing the Capitals to the brink of being swept.
Boudreau said Malone's second goal of the postseason should have been waved off by referees Paul Devorski and Dan O'Rourke.
"If you look at it, Malone's driving the net and he pushes our player (defenseman John Carlson) into our goaltender and he can't kick out his right leg to make the save,'' Boudreau said. "It's a no-goal, no penalty call. It's one of the best referees in the league and I fully respect him, but I don't think it should have counted.''
Tampa Bay rallied from a 3-2 deficit after two periods as Steven Stamkos and Malone helped extend the Lightning's winning streak to six games.
"I'm not surprised what I saw from Tampa,'' Boudreau said of the third period, when Tampa Bay posted a 15-5 advantage in shots. "I'm surprised that some of our guys panicked a little bit, but that comes when you're down 2-0 in the series. They (Lightning) played great in the third period.''
Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner lamented the final 20 minutes.
"I don't know exactly what happened,'' he said. "I can't really put my finger on it. I thought we were playing good, but we just started to get a little too complacent. We just took our foot off of the gas for a little bit.''