The Maple Leafs’ Sheldon Keefe explains the goalie save that changed the momentum of their win against the Capitals.

The Maple Leafs’ Sheldon Keefe explains the goalie save that changed the momentum of their win against the Capitals.

Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom appeared to score the game’s first goal at 4:14 of the first period after the Maple Leafs found themselves in the contest due to goalie interference.

WASHINGTON, DC – The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Washington Capitals 4-1 on Tuesday at Capital One Arena, but the first period was the visiting team’s worst half of the season.
The Leafs led 16-5 after 20 minutes, while Washington held an 87 percent expected rating, according to NaturalStatTrick.com.
Aside from Joseph Wall’s goal for the Leafs, the game could have turned in their favor if the Capitals had scored on Nicklas Backstrom’s goal with 4:14 to play.
After Backstrom’s shot bounced off the wall, Capitals star Alex Ovechkin fired a shot past the goalie. When umpire Frederic L’Equier asked Keefe if he wanted to participate in the game, there was no decision.
Instead, the Leafs called a timeout.
Goaltender interference gave them another 30 seconds before deciding to contest the game.
A review determined that Ovechkin actually interfered with Woll’s ability to make the save, keeping the game at 0-0.

“It took a little bit of time to process, communicate with the video coach and a little bit of uncertainty,” Keefe explained of the initial wait.
“It’s not that I actually asked for a second opinion, it just took me a while to process it all.”

So what did the Maple Leafs head coach sell to challenge him?

“Our video people felt strongly that it was (goalie interference),” Keefe said.
“It took a while to convince me because I saw a lot of people going the other way.
But when we need breaks and breaks, I respect them and our process.” It’s a very stressful situation.”

Less than nine minutes later, Morgan Rielly scored to give the lifters the unforgettable victory.

“It’s a key moment in the game because it’s an opportunity to regroup later and get the first goal,” Keefe said.

 

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