SUN Hockey Pool

Push comes to shove day after Flames OT controversy

LEN ZIEHM, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

, Last Updated: 12:54 PM ET

CHICAGO -- Regardless of who wins tonight's Game 2 of the Stanley Cup playoff series between the Blackhawks and Calgary Flames, there's bound to be some spillover from the first game of the series.

Participating in the playoffs for the first time in seven years, the Blackhawks took a 3-2 overtime victory Thursday night amidst controversy.

The Flames feel they were robbed, that forward Martin Havlat's game-winning goal should have been disallowed because Blackhawks winger Andrew Ladd interfered with Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.

That play, which came 12 seconds into overtime at the United Center, was an even hotter topic after both teams' practice sessions yesterday than it was after the first-game nailbiter.

"The (goaltender interference) rule is intended to give the goaltender the ability to make a save, and Kipper was unable to make that save because he was interfered with by their play," Flames head coach Mike Keenan insisted.

Keenan's complaints may have been designed to protect Kiprusoff in future games, but the Hawks don't intend to back off.

"Getting in front of goalies is something every team is trying to do, and that starts with guys going to the net," said Ladd.

"In playoffs at this level, goalies are so good.

"Most goals will come off rebounds."

Keenan also charged Ladd punched Flames centre Olli Jokinen in the face earlier in the game and that Hawks forward Dustin Byfuglien whacked Kiprusoff in the back of the knee with his stick with four minutes left in regulation time.

"We had a conversation as managers and coaches on Monday, saying there'd be special emphasis on goaltenders," Keenan said.

He felt officials weren't sensitive to that Thursday.


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