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Sabres best Coyotes on strange overtime goal

Dec 23, 2013, 11:30 PM EDT

Phoenix Coyotes v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

The Buffalo Sabres definitely were not favored to come away victorious against the visiting Phoenix Coyotes on Monday.

But, with their roster reduced to 16 players because of the flu and then 15 because of a second-period ejection to Drew Stafford for an elbow to the head of Oliver Ekman-Larsson, the Sabres managed a 2-1 overtime victory courtesy one of the strangest goals of the regular season to date.

Mark Pysyk got credited for the winning goal – his first of the season – in overtime, after being the last Sabres’ player to touch the puck, which was deflected high into the air and landed in the hockey pants of Phoenix goalie Mike Smith.

Smith backed into the net and there was a delayed reaction to the Sabres’ celebration. The play was reviewed and called a good goal, giving Buffalo a win against the odds.

“At 3:47 of overtime in the Coyotes/Sabres game, video review supported the referee’s call on the ice that Mark Pysyk’s shot deflected into the air and landed in goaltender Mike Smith’s equipment and, while attempting to make the save, Smith’s momentum propelled him and the puck completely across the goal line. Good goal Buffalo,” the league wrote on its Situation Room Blog.

The Coyotes saw things a little differently.

“I guess if they don’t see the puck, they’re supposed to blow the whistle. That’s not what happened,” said Smith, as per Joe Yerdon of ProHockeyTalk and


  1. peterjohnjoseph - Dec 24, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    That sounds like something straight out of a Mighty Ducks movie.

  2. peterjohnjoseph - Dec 24, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    I just watched the video. The best part was when the players realized it might be a goal, I believe Hanzal sticks his hand down the back of Smith’s pants, while Smith slowly inches his way forward trying to get back in front of the line while the puck is picked out.

    The call is just as awesome. “Is it in his pants? I think its in his pants! Right in his pants! The pucks in his pants and he crossed the line!”

  3. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 24, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    I like most of Smith’s game but he needs to shut his mouth here. Refs did a good job to let the play proceed.

    Also, ‘odd’ and ‘strange’ don’t even do this one justice. That has to be one of the most bizarre GWGs I’ve ever seen.

  4. drewzducks - Dec 24, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    That was ass backwards.

  5. chicagobtech - Dec 24, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    Mike Smith complaining? Unpossible!

  6. westinpat - Dec 24, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    Has anyone asked the ref(s) if they ever lost sight of the puck? Otherwise his argument holds no weight and he should concentrate on not being an embarrassment to the organization.

    • sutchy4 - Dec 24, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      Losing site of the puck does not enter into it as rule 85 states “if ref loses sight of puck in a scramble or if someone falls on it”. However, the rules state “All of the puck must be over the line” and there is no way that could ever be determined as if it was lodged in the crotch of his pants it might have been a goal whereas if it was higher up near his waist it might not have been all over the line. Tough decision to make but I do not think it should be a goal as there was no way the video judge could be sure “all of the puck was over the line”.

      • 19wasthebest - Dec 24, 2013 at 1:28 PM

        You need to rewatch the video. You can clearly see the puck and that is why it is a good goal.

      • billsin20xx - Dec 24, 2013 at 3:15 PM

        Exactly where in his pants could the puck be and not over the goal line????

    • sutchy4 - Dec 24, 2013 at 1:17 PM

      The question of losing sight of the puck does not enter into making a decision as the puck being lodged in equipment is not covered in Rule 85. However, there is now way the video judge could tell if the puck was down in the crotch of his pants in which case it might have crossed the line or the waist of his pants in which case it might not have been a goal and the video judge should not have made a decision that decided a game when it might or might not have been a goal.

      • mc321984 - Dec 24, 2013 at 8:37 PM

        Might or might not have been a goal? Do you have cataracts?

  7. lightning69 - Dec 24, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Can’t believe this didn’t happen to Smith while in Tampa. As many crazy leaky goals we witnessed during his tenure. Glad we finally moved on from the drama in all aspects.

    “Strange” is a serious understatement here PHT. A gwg in OT too! C’mon man

    Drew wins Hockey internets today. Truly ass backwards.

  8. w3bstur - Dec 24, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Unreal. It amazes me how the puck finds it way across the goal line… and in this case, in Smith’s back pocket

  9. nflfan4now - Dec 24, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    Coyote’s might complain about this one (but since his entire body was over the goal line I don’t know why anybody cares where the puck was stuck in him!) but their goal was also a mystery. How Toronto ever let the obvious high stick deflection on their goal go is a mystery. The puck was obviously deflected downwards (by a 6’6″ player), it went in the net just barely below the cross bar – yet the didn’t rule a high stcik.

  10. proudliberal85392 - Dec 24, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    I heard Smith’s butt will be credited with an assist.

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