The Los Angeles Kings probably didn’t need much help from the officials in Game 5. Despite trailing the New York Rangers 2-1 midway through the third period, the Kings had been doing pretty well for themselves. In fact, they were getting quite a bit of pressure just before they were the beneficiaries of a questionable penalty call.
Mats Zuccarello was trying to get a puck out of the zone when he and Jake Muzzin knocked legs. Muzzin went down and Zuccarello was assessed a minor penalty for tripping. After reviewing the replay, however, Muzzin actually was the one who initiated the contact by sticking his leg out. Both players went down, but Zuccarello was the one who earned the penalty. It probably should have been Muzzin if they wanted to call anything at all.
GIF via @myregularface:
Well, you can guess what happened next. After just 17 seconds on the power play, the Kings tied the game on a goal off the stick of Marian Gaborik. The postseason’s leading goal scorer now has 14 tallies after getting to the net front and slamming the puck home and paid the price for it.
The Kings really took control of the period from there.
The playoffs are usually where the whistles get swallowed and even more in elimination games, but that borderline call had a significant impact on the game. It's usually calls like that the officials try to avoid by calling the games a little less closely, but sometimes mistakes are made. This was an unfortunate one for the Rangers in the most crucial of situations.