The Alex Ovechkin Goal That Was For Naught (GIF)


Photo credit: Nick Wass

Late in the third period with the Washington Capitals trailing 3-2, Alex Ovechkin took a pass from Marcus Johansson in the center of the ice and fired a ridiculous snap shot towards Anaheim Ducks’ goaltender Jonas Hiller. The puck, rolling end over end, beat Hiller clean. PING.

Ovechkin raised his hands to the sky, the goal horn went off, and Caps fans celebrated yet another miracle comeback goal from their team’s captain.

But the puck never actually went in. The referee waived it off.

Look again.

As Hiller stretched towards the puck, he got a tiny piece of his glove on the biscuit, turning a gimme Ovi goal into a heart-breaking bounce off the crossbar.


Puck meets crossbar.

Caps fans, who were only treated to one replay of the shot in-house (which I’m told looked like a goal), were furious after referees reviewed the shot and confirmed it did not go in. A loud, audible “REF, YOU SUCK” chant filled Verizon Center during the final two minutes of play.

The tale of this loss, however, is that the Caps can’t give away big leads and then expect to come back every game. Ovi is a three-time MVP, not a miracle worker.

Anaheim, who has now won nine straight games, is too good of a team.

Especially when they’re trying to win a big one for Bruce.

GIFs by welshhockeyfan

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  • Anaheim Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller on the Alex Ovechkin no goal:

    “I saw the one replay they showed, and it looked like it was in on that one, but at the same time, looking at the crossbar, you can still see the mark kind of outside of the crossbar, so I was pretty sure it wasn’t a goal. In the end, it’s not on me to call, but it was definitely nice to get that break and I think, in the end, if you work hard, you deserve those kinds of bounces going your way, and I think that’s what we did, especially in the third [period].”

  • Andrew

    In house the replay shown looked like it went off the inside bar, and from where I was heard no ping. Really infuriating that the video crew didn’t have more than that angle.

  • Matt

    Instead of “REF YOU SUCK!” they should of chanted “NHL VIDEO OFFICIALS IN TORONTO YOU SUCK!”

  • Here’s what the Caps Game Entertainment crew said on Twitter after the game about the replay they showed:

    “We only have a couple of angles we are able to show in-arena. Angle we showed was best available to us”

    Props to them for even addressing it on social media.

    These guys are some of the most tireless workers in hockey and 99.999999% of the time they are perfect. They did the best they could with what they had. They don’t have the same tape that’s available in the War Room in Toronto. They do not deserve your rage.

  • JGP

    I was at the game in section 108 with a perfect look. It looked in live, and the in-house replay definitely looked in. I think the shot came back so fast that there wasn’t a frame that showed the puck on the bar; it sort of disappeared and then came back so we all assumed that when it disappeared it must have been in the goal. HUGE bummer. Also, the refs were wildly inconsistent throughout the game, which didn’t help them get any benefit of the doubt inside the arena.

  • Andrew

    Perhaps frustrating was the better word, I put no blame on the crew.

  • Owen Johnson

    Were there any other angles? I’m still not really convinced.

  • Barrett

    Puck clearly didn’t go in…but I don’t see Hiller getting a piece of that. Looks more like the defender out near Ovechkin got a piece.

  • He did. On TV, it was clear as day – at least to me. It changed direction ever so slightly.

  • Matt

    not quite as catchy though

  • Jesse Morgan

    Watching on TV, it definitely didn’t go in. The first replay they showed told us that. I was wondering why everyone was yelling at the refs.

  • Owen Johnson

    That’s what everyone says. At VC the angle they showed made it look like it absolutely went in. An overhead view would clear it up though. This angle isn’t convincing really.

  • Red

    That whole situation was a perfect representation of what it’s like to be a Caps fan. First Ovi scoared – We were thrilled. Then play continued – We were confused. Play still continued – We were indignant. Then the play was reviewed – We were hopeful. Every jumbo replay showed ‘good goal’ – We were ecstatic. The bad man skated to center ice and waived his hands – We were angry. The game finished – We left with begrudging acceptance.
    And that is the full emotional arc of a Caps fan.

  • Shaggy

    Late to this, but sitting in 104 I swear I saw the net move. A friend in the 200s thought the same thing. Don’t think this is a JFK level conspiracy of course, but interesting what you think (or hope) you see … that didn’t actually happen.

  • Aaron

    The Iraqi Information Minister has always run the in-arena replays. Nothing against the Caps is ever shown, whether it’s penalties, hits, goals, non-goals, or anything else. Why should this latest example surprise anyone?