BOSTON — The Hall-of-Fame plaque of Mark Recchi will someday list his goal total, which will include tonight’s game-winning goal for two reasons.
One, he was once again in the right place at the right time to deflect home Dennis Seidenberg’s shot in overtime.
And the NHL has instituted video replay of every goal or near goal, a rule that didn’t exist back when Recchi broke into the league.
“I knew it went in because you could hear the clunk, so it was the ping, you know, the big crossbar sound, it was underneath,” said Recchi after Boston’s 3-2 overtime win at TD Garden.
Seidenberg one-timed David Krejci’s feed from the high slot. Play continued on after the referee waved off the goal, but 51 seconds later play stopped and the war room went to work.
Originally, the goal was credited to Seidenberg, but it was later changed to Recchi, who now has 569 regular-season NHL goals to his credit. There was some disagreement about what part of Recchi the puck hit — his glove, stick, pants … whatever. Nonetheless, it hit Recchi.
Even the red-hot Ryan Miller, who was coming off back-to-back shutouts, had a feel he’d been beaten.
“The sound, it sounded like it went in,” said Miller. “It hit Paul [Gaustad] on the initial shot and it hit Recchi as he kind of crossed me and then it went in. I thought the ref was just letting the play continue; I thought he could’ve given me a little benefit of the doubt, Recchi being in the crease and obstructing my angle.”
According to Versus, Recchi became the oldest player to score an NHL overtime goal. Even though he wasn’t credited with the goal, Seidenberg was able to partially make up for being on the ice for Buffalo’s two goals.
“I wish I could’ve prevented it,” the defenseman said, “but I didn’t, so for us to get that goal, it’s a good feeling.”