Jakub Voracek was livid.
Not just because the Flyers lost 2-1 to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, but because they were denied a tying goal that would have sent the game into overtime (see game recap).
Scott Hartnell’s marker with 40.1 seconds left to play was overruled on the ice because Hartnell hip-checked goalie Marty Brodeur.
Thing is, Hartnell was knocked into Brodeur by the Devils’ Anton Volchenkov, which should have offset the contact since it was caused by a New Jersey player.
“That puck was under him,” Voracek said. “The playoffs are on the line and you make a call like that? It’s f------ incredible. Sorry for the language. But it’s a joke!”
The replays showed the goal. There was no question the puck was in the net. It was how it got there and referee Tom Kowal said it got there because Hartnell made contact with Brodeur.
“I’m not saying they did it purposely,” Brodeur said. “I think [Hartnell’s] momentum threw him into me, but it really prevented me. It didn’t warrant a penalty. That’s why they didn’t give him a penalty.
“But I think it’s the right call. They don’t call it a lot though. Because of the non-holding and less-physical game, guys have a lot more liberty to go to the net and then go hard at the net. You see more collisions.
“You see it often that guys are taking liberties because nobody hooks them. Nobody touches them. And the speed of the game is just so great that you have to be careful.”
When the league office in Toronto got involved, it quickly became a moot point for review because they are not empowered to review goals involving contact with the goalie.
“When the buzzer went I was 100 percent sure it was going to be a goal,” said Voracek, who was on the ice at the time. “Hartsy was driving the net with Volchenkov. He didn’t go into Brodeur by himself. It was a battle for the loose puck. I can not believe it was not a goal.
“… I don’t think he even blew the whistle. He waved no-goal. It was a shock for me. That’s a playoff on the line. We got  games left. It’s great hockey all game long. That goal just ruined the whole game.”
That it came down to a non-goal ruling should never have happened because the Flyers had six chances to win this game on the power play and did nothing.
“I’m not going to cry here about the call,” Voracek said. “I mean we lost the game. We had six power plays where we could’ve scored a goal.
“So I’m not going to cry over the goal, but 20 seconds left you better be goddamn sure to make that call if it’s like that.”
New Jersey has the No. 2 penalty kill in the NHL (86.4 percent).
“Yeah, they’re really good,” conceded Flyer captain Claude Giroux. “They’re a good positioning team. They defend well. We had our chances; it didn’t go in. We had some good chances and good shots. I guess that’s frustrating.”
Jakub Voracek was livid.