No-goal not reviewed

Updated: June 6, 2004, 2:23 AM ET
Associated Press

CALGARY, Alberta -- Martin Gelinas nearly won another series for the Calgary Flames, this time with a deflection off his skate.

But even though the puck appeared to cross the line late in the third period of Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, it wasn't ruled a goal by on-ice officials or those watching from above.

"They've got so many cameras, I imagine they would've phoned down if it went in," said Gelinas, who added that he hadn't seen a replay.

That kept the game tied until 33 seconds of the second overtime when Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis scored to force the Stanley Cup finals to Game 7 Monday in Florida.

"We reviewed a number of camera angles and only one showed the puck," said Colin Campbell, the NHL director of hockey operations. "Based on the angle of the image and the fact that the puck was in the air and on edge, there was insufficient evidence that the puck conclusively crossed the goal line."

Gelinas, who scored the series-winning goal for Calgary in each of the first three rounds, charged the net to get in front of Nikolai Khabibulin with just under seven minutes left in regulation.

During a power play, Oleg Saprykin took a shot that Khabibulin knocked away, but the puck came out front and hit the rushing Gelinas.

After the puck clanged off Gelinas' skate, Khabibulin slid across the goal line and intercepted it with his pad. Play continued as fans in the Saddledome groaned at the missed chance.

"We thought we had the big play," Flames coach Darryl Sutter said.

A replay seem to show that Khabibulin stopped the puck after it had crossed the goal line. The puck was dropped after the next stoppage of play without any consultation with officials from above.

"I looked at it and that's got to be a conclusive play," Sutter said. "I looked at it from two different angles. Unless they have a different one, you can't say that it's a goal.

"It's so close, but the puck is like this. You can't argue that

point. I am sure they did look at it."

Before the Flames won Game 5 in Tampa, Sutter lashed out and said that some NHL factions want the Lightning to win the Stanley Cup. That was in reaction to the suspension of Calgary's Ville Nieminen, who wasn't allowed to play Thursday night because of a boarding penalty against Vincent Lecavalier.

Gelinas didn't even want to consider that a potential Cup-winning goal was missed.

"That would be pretty tough," he said. "Just a few minutes left in the period. If that's the case, shame on them for not phoning down."

Lightning forward Tim Taylor didn't think it was a goal to begin with, and saw another problem with the play.

"I thought it was directed in by a skate," Taylor said. "He was going right toward the net and stopping on it. So that wouldn't have been a goal."

Fans in Calgary can't blame referee Kerry Fraser for this one. Originally slated to work Game 6, Fraser was replaced after he was the subject of verbal abuse and had objects thrown at him from the stands during Game 4.

Fraser was the referee in both previous games in Calgary and has long been the nemesis of Flames fans. During Calgary's 1-0 loss in Game 4, the Lightning scored their only goal on a two-man advantage. Nieminen was then given a major penalty for his hit and was ejected as the Flames pressed for the tying goal.

In the opening round against Vancouver, Gelinas scored an overtime goal in Game 7.

He also beat goalie Curtis Joseph with 47 seconds left in the first overtime to give the Flames a 4-2 series victory over the Detroit Red Wings in the conference semifinals.

And then in the conference finals against San Jose, Gelinas did it again.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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