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Video: Kunitz collides with Rangers’ goalie Lundqvist in overtime (Updated)

Dec 18, 2013, 11:57 PM EDT

The overtime period between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers was very eventful, and it started early when Chris Kunitz collided heavily with goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

Kunitz was driving hard to the net and let go a backhand that Lundqvist made the save on. As Lundqvist covered up and slid to his left, he crossed into the path of Kunitz as he was skating in behind the net.

Lundqvist was sent sprawling and remained on the ice for a few minutes, getting attended to by a member of the Rangers’ training staff.

Kunitz received a goalie interference penalty, but the Rangers failed to capitalize on the four-on-three power play. New York eventually lost this game 4-3 in the shootout.

Updated: As per the Rangers’ official Twitter account, Lundqvist said afterward: “I have a stiff neck…I’m just happy it’s not worse than that.”

  1. sjsharks66 - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Comes out of his net and Kunitz clearly tries to jump out of the way. Not sure how Kunitz was the only one to receive a penalty but hey, that’s NHL refs for ya…

    • hockeyflow33 - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:02 AM

      What other penalty should be called?

      • c9castine - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:01 AM

        lundqvist should have been called for being a little B. not sure what kunitz was supposed to do there he tried to avoid him he was being fenced in by the rangers defeseman and lundqvist outside his net.

        sutter owned him tonight. sutter is a sleeper nobody knows bout him in that way. he can play though. pens young defenseman went through some growing pains tonight made a butt load of mistakes but worked through it and earned a win with offense from the vets.

        wonder how NHL teams feel about losing to a AHL defense. literally only 1 guy on that defense isn’t a 19 year old rookie or an AHL call up. and thats matt niskanen who we all though would be traded last summer because of the salary cap.

        whew…good thing..

      • wettwork - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:35 AM

        Shouldn’t have been any penalty !!!😜

      • wettwork - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:57 AM

        He was out of the crease , no penalty !!! Or how about interference on the (king) …

  2. bhunter47 - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    On the one hand, I can see why the penalty was called by the ref behind the play. Lundqvist went down hard, and maybe the ref from his angle couldn’t tell that Kunitz was trying to avoid him, and that Lundqvist was so far out of the net. However, I think if the ref had another angle or another chance, he might have not called it.

    • stakex - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:30 AM

      The ref right there is the one calling the penalty. I know the announcers said no call was initially made, but you can clearly see the ref behind the net signal penalty by pointing to the box.

    • hockeyflow33 - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:03 AM

      Trying to avoid the goalie doesn’t absolve you of the penalty.

      • hockey412 - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:51 AM

        That’s actually not completely true outside of the crease. But either way the penalty went against the substance of the rule. I don’t believe Kunitz initiated the contact, and it certainly was not deliberate.

        “If an attacking player initiates any contact with a goalkeeper, other than incidental contact, while the goalkeeper is outside his goal crease, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.

        A goalkeeper is not “fair game” just because he is outside the goal crease. The appropriate penalty should be assessed in every case where an attacking player makes unnecessary contact with the goalkeeper. However, incidental contact will be permitted when the goalkeeper is in the act of playing the puck outside his goal crease provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such unnecessary contact.”

        Either way it looked bad and can’t fault the ref for calling it, even if the fault wasn’t solely on Kunitz shoulders. I’m just glad it didn’t decide the game.

      • hockeyflow33 - Dec 19, 2013 at 4:18 PM

        That’s the wrong application. He’s continuing a save that was initiated in the crease and is afforded the protection of the crease.

  3. ash0war - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    He tried to avoid him but had no where to go and the guy pushing him didn’t help ..

    • cofran2004 - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:43 AM

      Lundqvist made the save squarely with his chest. If he wasn’t where he was, the puck could have crossed the line. Kunitz skated right at him, but at the last second tried to move. You don’t want to get called for goalie interference? Don’t skate directly at the goalie. Pretty simple.

      Also, if you call what stepan did “pushing him” into lunqvist, you… have proabably been a fan of hockey about 4 months.

  4. jkaflagg - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    Seems like the other ref or a linesman could have told the trailing ref what he saw (Lundquist coming out of the net, Kunitz trying to avoid him)…..

    • hockeyflow33 - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:04 AM

      Why? That doesn’t negate the penalty call.

      • hockey412 - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:53 AM

        Yes, it does. The attacking player did not initiate the contact, and while not incidental, it was accidental. No penalty, but if a goal had been scored, it should have been disallowed.

  5. stakex - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    The onus is on the attacking player to avoid contact when driving the net. Yes Lundqvist was out of the net a bit, and yes Kunitz made an effort to avoid him… but he still made significant contact, and that will be called every time. The NHL has made it very clear that goalies will be protected, and calls like this shouldn’t surprise anyone.

    • hockey412 - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:54 AM

      You actually just made that up.

      • cofran2004 - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:48 AM

        No, he didn’t. Hits to goalies are going to be called 9 times out of 10. I’ve been watching hockey 20 years. Even when goalies are behind the net and they get hit, goaltender interference is almost always called.

        Most high sticking penalties are accidental. They still get called.

      • hockey412 - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:19 AM

        uh-huh….oh ok because I just started watching hockey yesterday….

        I understand what you are saying. But no, as far as “the onus is on the attacking player to avoid contact”…that is made up – if the goalie is stationary, OK…but when the goalie is the one who is moving into the path of the attacker, who is trying to get out of the way, no…no onus on Kunitz to grow wings and get out of Henry’s way there. The rules are listed above. It was a blown call – but it didn’t decide the game.

      • elvispocomo - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:15 PM

        hockey412 is giving you guys the 411. He’s correct in by the rulebook that could easily not be a penalty. It’s a bit subjective going by what the refs see on the ice, but he’s absolutely correct, where you guys aren’t by suggesting the onus is completely on the skater or that Kunitz skated directly into him.

      • c9castine - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        yeah when they are playing the puck not after a save and a whistle.

        can hardly be interference after a whistle if both were trying to avoid contact. lundqvist was a bit out of control and sliding outside the net and kunitz was trying to avoid him.

        its obvious, there shouldn’t have been a penalty. but whatever. not the first bad call.

      • hockeyflow33 - Dec 19, 2013 at 4:20 PM

        No you’re not applying the rule correctly. You’re pointing to when the goalie is playing the puck outside of the crease, not when he’s making a save.

    • 6superbowls - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:30 AM

      Get your whistle ready there Skippy, cause contact with the goalie happens 10 to 15 times a games…

  6. benrob99 - Dec 19, 2013 at 4:41 AM

    In hindsight, I can understand WHY they called it. But if NY would have scored on that PP, I would have been fuming about the call. Good two points for the Pitts-Barre Penguins.

  7. muckleflugga - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:51 AM

    okay…i’m claiming the first of four mulligans tonight

    try as i might, i can’t find anything to trash the penguins over…other than big dan being so consarned patient with pierre…in spite of the glare…the overt penguins love…

    no, i reserve the right to call this freebie back for use on a later date…

    • hockey412 - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:58 AM

      noted.

  8. ironyisadeadscene - Dec 19, 2013 at 6:22 AM

    I’ve seen worse calls

  9. titansbro - Dec 19, 2013 at 6:46 AM

    I hate the Pens (Bruins fan) but this isn’t anything to get riled up over. He is trying to avoid him, although I don’t think that means it’s not a penalty, just not dirty. If there’s any gripe with the call it’s that he was being pushed from behind & probably didn’t have full control over himself. That’s just hockey, it will never be 100% safe.

    • cofran2004 - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      This. I’m not mad at kunitz, nor do I think he’s a dirty player. But even Lady Bing recipients take a penalty every now and again.

  10. kodyknight2821 - Dec 19, 2013 at 6:59 AM

    Don’t like the call. Sure he was hit pretty hard, but Kunitz did all he could to avoid the contact. Lundquist was also out of the blue paint.

    • cofran2004 - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:53 AM

      Yeah, and I’m sure whoever it was that high sticked hagelin earlier in the game didn’t mean to do that either. Nine times out of 10, if you hit the goalie hard enough to knock him down, its a penalty. Even if the goalie is behind the net. I’ve been watching hockey 20 years, and thats always how its been.

  11. kodyknight2821 - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:00 AM

    Lundqvist**

  12. kgod30 - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    Lundqvist did not fake the impact of having his head hit and the pressure on his neck(in my opinion)…but that was not Kunitz’s fault as the goalie was sliding outside the crease vs. Kunitz. No penalty should have been called.

    • cofran2004 - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:57 AM

      Hitting the goalie results in a penalty 9 times out of 10. It’s been that way as long as I remember(sheesh, i feel like a broken record). Lundqvist wasnt in a bad position to make the save, as a matter of fact, he made it sqaurely with his chest. If he WASN’T where he was, he wouldnt have made the save, and the game would have been over right there. (sheesh, i feel like a broken record).

      • hockey412 - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:26 AM

        Kunitz didn’t “hit the goalie” in the sense you are using it, though. He didn’t initiate the contact by skating into Henry. Henry went into him, and there was no way to avoid the contact. It’s a blown call. Can’t fault the ref, it looked bad. I CAN, however, fault the idiots on the ice for going after Kunitz.

      • cofran2004 - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:47 AM

        What sense do you think i’m using it? I don’t mean he checked him. It was obviously an accident, but so are high sticks. They still get called. Lundqvist was in a good position to make the save. The puck hits him directly in the chest. I dunno how you can fault him.

        As far as being mad at the guys defending him being idiots…. not really… if anyone hits the goalie for any reason EVER, players swarm the guy who hits him. ESPECIALLY if he goes down the way lundqvist did. It’s just players defending their guy… every team does it. I’d be annoyed if they didn’t defend him. The rangers already have enough trouble with not showing heart.

      • kgod30 - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:53 AM

        Just because it is called 9 times out of 10 does not mean it is the right call. Bottom line, Lundqvist was sliding out and continued to slide to his left after making the save – he initiated the contact with his mask. Kunitz was moving in and tried to sidestep him. Unfortunate, but it was clear that he was not “rushing” the goalie. Most of the players realized this, which is why there was no melee after the play – a few guys went after Kunitz, but realized Lundqvist ran into him.

      • cofran2004 - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:02 AM

        It looked like a melee to me. I dont know what game you were watching.

      • kgod30 - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        cofran2004 – how many punches thrown….ZERO…

      • cofran2004 - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        because the linesman was between him and everyone. What did you want, stepan to throw him to the ice and punch him in the head repeatedly?

  13. sluggo1970 - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    All you idiots blaming Kunitz, who clearly tried getting away, but had no where to go because ranger players had him pinned. That’s the equivalent of someone jumping off a building and blaming the ground for killing them.

  14. hockeydon10 - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    Cheesus.

    The Ranger player didn’t have him pinned. In fact Kunitz had him beat and his angle would have pushed Kunitz to the corner like defensemen are taught to do. Lundqvist made the save inside his crease and his momentum carried him out by the tiniest fraction. Kunitz did try to avoid but was going too fast and was too close by the time he realized he should move to avoid.

    Goalies should always be protected when they’re in a vulnerable position. A lot of people make this stupid argument that goalies should be fair game outside the crease. That entire line of thinking started because goalies would hold the puck behind the net and nobody could make a play on them like they would a defenseman in the same position. It was never meant to imply that a goalie that makes a play in the crease and slides out could them be checked or run like any other player.

  15. ifonlynotnever - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:25 AM

    As someone who follows both the Rangers and the Penguins, I can definitely see it both ways. On the one hand, I’m not entirely sure interference is the right call, as Kunitz does try to lean out of the way of contact, and Stepan’s attempt to draw him away from Lundqvist may have actually caused more damage than harm. On the other hand, Lundqvist, while out of his crease, was still hugging the net after making a save, and had no real time to avoid contact. I can sort of see how Kunitz could have slightly adjusted his trajectory in a way that would have avoided the goaltender and still allowed him to pick up a rebound, but it was much too fast and again, Stepan. Either way, this wasn’t some Mike Smith flop on Lundqvist’s part; it’s genuinely fortunate that the hit wasn’t worse.

    • ifonlynotnever - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:27 AM

      *more damage than good.

  16. bennywuh - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    Lundy looking for an excuse for this horrid play of late. Guy is in full pads and was barely touched.

    • ifonlynotnever - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      Ah, yes. After playing the best game he’s played in a while Lundqvist decides to make a save that will put him directly in Kunitz’s way, snapping his head to the side in a way that would not cause serious injury but probably was painful because pads don’t help much with whiplash, thereby retroactively excusing the atrocious goaltending preformances he’s put on so far this year.

      Makes perfect sense to me.

      • bennywuh - Dec 20, 2013 at 1:24 PM

        best game he’s played in a while? oh wait, your right, its only the second time this month he’s been above 90% SV% –

  17. ewoods6 - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Kunitz had no shot to avoid him even though he tried. He was being pushed by the D-men and indeed the goaltender was out of his crease. For that reason alone, i don’t see why a penalty was called. He didn’t target the head, lauch himseld or anything.

    I really hope the NHL doesn’t start making calls like the NFL does on Roughing the Passer. Some of those calls just scream soccer.

  18. jpelle82 - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    none of this stuff would have happened if the refs had called the trip on brassard in the neutral zone right before the second goal was scored. he clearly stuck out his leg and swept dupuis’ feet out from under him…creating the 3 on 2. game probably wouldnt have even went to ot. a lot of non calls happened and i usually dont complain too much about them on here but i gotta say, the crosby breakaway shouldve been a penalty shot for sure – it was about as textbook as it gets. scored anyway on the pp and the pens won the game but it couldve easily gone the other way since they were fighting the refs too.

    • cofran2004 - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:10 AM

      You’ve been respectful this whole debate, and I appreciate that. I’m not used to that from most pens fans. But a pens fan complaining about the refs is… odd. Yeah, I’m sure the refs have missed some calls against you, but they usually catch them. It’s been pretty frustrating since crosby came into the league to know you were going to lose because of powerplays before the game even started. If it’s starting to even out…. its really about time.

      • handsofsweed - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:16 PM

        Nah. You lost because your team just wasn’t good enough. Ironically, that’s the exact same reason why the Pens have lost every game they’ve lost in franchise history….they weren’t good enough.

        You just made up a very poor excuse for failure.

      • cofran2004 - Dec 20, 2013 at 2:31 PM

        Says a pens fan who benefitted from the league giving you the calls for 10 years. No doubt crosby is the best player in the league. I wont fight you there. But he got EVERY call, even the borderline ones. Hell, he got one against detroit when HE was the one who committed the penalty just a few games ago

  19. blackandorangeforlife - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Nothing there not even 2 minutes….But the irony of a Pens fan complaining about the penalty is humorous…….Didnt a Wing take a penalty the other night when it was Sid’s high stick?……Pretty sure the linesman even told the Ref it was Sid but they called Detroit anyway……Pens usually get the benefit of doubt so fan complaints should be nil

  20. 7mantel - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    Hom many times have we seen a penalty called on a player for goalie interference after being pushed into the goalie ! So why are why cry about it !

  21. magicrat13 - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    i understand being a “homer” for your team, but jeez…some folks on here are sounding like they don’t even watch the game of hockey…if the play was reversed i wonder how many fans would be up in arms on this site…

  22. mikejkc2002 - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Kunitz didn’t do anything wrong. He was way out of the net. Shouldn’t have even been a PP.

    • magicrat13 - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:47 PM

      “way out of the net”?…….lol

  23. iceman91321 - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    It’s impossible to say what Kunitz was thinking, but by his reputation is that it was intentional.

  24. bsfan77 - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    I am a Bruins fan and hate the crybaby Penns. Kunitz looked like he was trying to turn at the last second. But, when you are a dirty bunch of players like Pittsburgh, you are gonna start getting calls like that. Hopefully the refs will start calling against the Penns seeing that they get away with murder.

    • sjsharks01 - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:24 AM

      “Dirty bunch of players like Pittsburgh, you are gonna start getting calls like that”…..

      Coming from a BRUINS fan….seems legit.

      LMAO get real!

  25. bsfan77 - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    I thought Pittsburgh was known for ketchup and not kleenex

  26. sjsharks01 - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:21 AM

    Could’ve always done what Lucic does and gotten his money’s worth. He tried to avoid him come on, what do you expect Kunitz to do in that situation? He has a step on the D, its in OT, and he does exactly what he is supposed to do which is drive the net. Lundqvist was way out of position even from the start of the play and continues to slide afterwards its a hockey play and it shouldn’t have been called either way.

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