Petteri Nokelainen had never scored a goal while lying inside a net before last night, when he did just that to give the Ducks a 2-1 lead over the Phoenix Coyotes. Or did he?
“The only thing I saw was the referee coming in and showing it was a goal, so I said, ‘OK, I’ll take it.’ Once every now and then, it’s nice to get one of those, too,” Nokelainen said after Friday’s practice.
At 7:01 of the third period Todd Marchant, skating in from the right circle, directed the puck toward the net from a sharp angle just as Nokelainen crashed the crease behind Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. The puck made contact with defender Kyle Turris’ stick, then got behind Bryzgalov, perhaps only because Nokelainen did too and there was nothing the netminder could do to play it.
But it was immediately ruled a goal, despite the protestations of Bryzgalov (who told the Arizona Republic that Nokelainen “did this with a purpose”) and coach Wayne Gretzky (who seemed to be yelling something unsuitable for a family blog).
Decide for yourself here.
“The only thing I saw was the puck coming in the net, and I just took a whack at it,” Nokelainen said. ”And the next thing I know I was in the back of the net with the puck, so that’s about it. I wasn’t even sure that I hit it, so on the replay it’s kind of impossible to say. Everything was good after I scored the goal, so I’ll take it.”