The Edmonton Oilers lost Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on a controversial penalty leading to a game-winning goal for the Los Angeles Kings. Game 3 did not see a penalty leading to an Edmonton loss, but the game ended controversially nonetheless.
Kings forward Trevor Moore scored the winning goal in overtime, handing Los Angeles a 2-1 series lead. However, the Oilers did not leave the bench and the referees eventually reviewed the play.
The referees were looking to see if there was a missed stoppage of play before the goal was scored. A scrum in the corner involving Kings forward Gabe Vilardi and Oilers blueliner Mattias Ekholm was the focus.
It appeared as if Vilardi's stick and the puck connected high in the air, which should have led to a stoppage. Replay review found no conclusive evidence, however, and LA's game-winning goal stood.
The call on the ice sent NHL fans into a frenzy on social media. Oilers fans, in particular, vented their frustration with the result of Friday night's review.
How is that not conclusive?????? How else does the puck come down on another path???
— D McManus (@mcmanus17) April 22, 2023
That’s horrendously wrong. That’s so wrong. It changes momentum, it’s still going up and hits his stick and suddenly it’s immediately coming down? And there’s a clear angle where you see it? That’s horrid
— Nate Britten (@nateb2399) April 22, 2023
I'd be like ya ok we got outplayed we don't deserve to win but that hasn't been the case at all Edmonton has dominated all series but the refs just make the most abusurd calls against us in key moments all game long
— Devon (@Devon_9706) April 22, 2023
how rigged is this crap. we get a penalty AGAIN the second it goes to OT and then we lose. lmfaooooo hilarious.
— cait 🥀 (@reignusoking) April 22, 2023
Non-Oilers fans also expressed their disagreement with the call. They also believed there was clear evidence of the puck touching Vilardi's stick, and a stoppage being missed on the ice.
I am not an oiler fan, but it sure looks like the refs are leaning towards LA. Once again in the NHL playoffs the refs are the story.
— Blaine Boake (@bbloake) April 22, 2023
It CLEARLY hits the stick. Spin of the puck changes in mid-air.
I feel for ya Oilers fans.
— Jacob Pacheco (@JacobPacheco6) April 22, 2023
The Oilers now have to battle back from a 2-1 series deficit in order to move on to the second round. Edmonton did defeat the Kings last year in seven games en route to the Western Conference Final.
The Oilers and Kings mix it up again on Sunday in Los Angeles for Game 4. Regardless of the outcome there, the series shifts back to Edmonton for Game 5 on Tuesday.