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Ondrej Pavelec, Viktor Stalberg factor into Wednesday’s near-goals

Jan 6, 2011, 1:48 AM EDT

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Wednesday night featured at least two non-goals worthy of your attention, even if the two tallies elicit different emotions.

The first near-score featured what looked like a score by Florida Panthers defenseman Bryan McCabe on Atlanta Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec that never ended up receiving a goal review. It’s the kind of situation that some call a miscue while others many don the tinfoil hats and conjure conspiracy theories.

The second almost-goal is more of the unfortunate sort, but in a dumb, bad luck kind of way. Chicago Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg earned a penalty shot after being taken down by Dallas Stars defenseman Nicklas Grossman. He made a move that beat Kari Lehtonen and came about as close to scoring a goal as you can get, as the puck hit the crossbar and both posts but never entered the net.

Before we take a look at the Pavelec video, here are some thoughts on the non-reviewed goal from George Richards of On Frozen Pond.

The Panthers coach sure wasn’t thrilled when the night was concluded, either, as Bryan McCabe’s apparent goal was never looked at and Atlanta left BankAtlantic Center with a 3-2 win.

Most close calls in net are reviewed via satellite at Hockey Central in Toronto. McCabe’s shot lodged inside the cage beyond the line before Ondrej Pavelec pulled it free. Were reviewers in Toronto distracted by the Canada-Russia game taking place at the world juniors?

“It looks like a goal to me and I’m baffled why the referees can make certain to make sure everyone goes to the box but why no one took a second look at it,” DeBoer said. “They look at everything else. I got no explanation why. They said if it was close, Toronto would have buzzed them. They never got that.”

Should the goal have been reviewed by the Toronto war room? You be the judge by viewing video of the situation. (Kukla’s Korner also features an alternate take of the video via a Youtube user here.)

Certainly seems fishy. Moving on from the Pavelec/McCabe controversy, let’s take a look at Stalberg’s near-goal. The Dallas Stars went on to win the game 4-2, but the fourth goal was an empty-netter. Who knows how different things might have been if Stalberg received a bit more puck luck?

Then again, judging from the Steve Stamkos slip, maybe it was just a bad night for people earning penalty shots.

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