Oilers shortchanged

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 1:11 PM ET

CHICAGO -- They've already moved on.

Like trying to unring a bell, there's nothing the Edmonton Oilers can do about being shortchanged one point by NHL off-ice officials in Thursday's 2-1 shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild.

While the wrong call disallowing Michael Peca's shorthanded goal in the second period could impact the Oilers playoff standing when all 82 games are in the books, players put the bogus call behind them even before the end of the game.

"I didn't have to say anything," coach Craig MacTavish said.

"They were saying it to me. 'Forget about it. Let's move on.'

"I felt like there was still plenty of time left to win the game, as the players did. I liked the dialogue they had on the bench after that."

Instead of the Oilers taking a 2-1 lead on their second shorthanded goal of the game - Ryan Smyth scored the first - the score stayed 1-1 through the rest of regulation time and overtime before Minnesota took the extra point on Brian Rolston's goal in the shootout.

A local replay official in the press box blew the call - overhead replays of the goal clearly showed the puck across the line - but by the time off-ice officials in Toronto got a look at it, ref Don VanMassenhoven had dropped the puck. End of story.

No debate. No appeal.

"We didn't have the benefit of seeing that replay," Peca said of the time the goal was being reviewed.

"We were still carrying some momentum. We'd just scored to tie it up on the penalty kill . . . after the period, to find out it was a goal, we just figured maybe it was a game we were going to win regardless."

With almost two full periods to play after the no-goal verdict, the Oilers carried the play the rest of the way, but their inability to put another puck behind Manny Fernandez led to OT, the shootout and Rolston's goal.

"What's happened has happened," Peca said.

"I've been a part of those plays in the past.

"It's happened before and I'm sure, unfortunately, that down the road it'll happen again."

Mike Murphy of the NHL apologized for the error, admitting replays clearly showed a goal, but that's the only consolation the Oilers will get, so it'll be interesting to see how that single point impacts the standings.

"It manifested itself in disappointment after the game, but there's lots of disappointment in the game of hockey, especially in the situation we're in," MacTavish said.

"There's nothing, other than to accept an apology, and move on. What are you going to do?

"The one thing you want to see from your league is accountability and responsibility."


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