NHL: Controversial Major Penalty Call in Golden Knights vs. Sharks Game 7 Wrong

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 25, 2019

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 21:  Cody Eakin #21 of the Vegas Golden Knights waits for a faceoff in the first period of Game Six of the Western Conference First Round against the San Jose Sharks during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at T-Mobile Arena on April 21, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Sharks defeated the Golden Knights 2-1 in double overtime to even the series at 3-3.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The penalty call that sparked the San Jose Sharks' stunning comeback win over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs shouldn't have happened. 

The NHL apologized to Vegas for an incorrect five-minute major and game misconduct against Cody Eakin for a cross-check to Joe Pavelski in the third period, ESPN.com's Greg Wyshynski reported Thursday.   

The hit occurred midway through the third period. Pavelski fell to the ice, and blood began flowing from his head. 

Wyshynski noted Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant said the on-ice officials told him they thought Eakin hit Pavelski in the head with his stick, though replays showed he hit Pavelski in the chest. 

The NHL's official rulebook states a major penalty is determined at the referee's discretion "based on the degree of violence of the check, to a player guilty of charging an opponent."

Per ESPN.com's Emily Kaplanthe officials on the ice who assessed the penalty, Dan O'Halloran and Eric Furlatt, won't officiate in the second round of the playoffs. 

After Eakin went to the penalty box, the Sharks scored four goals in four minutes to take a 4-3 lead. Vegas tied the score in the final minute of regulation before Barclay Goodrow won it for San Jose in overtime.