Ryan McDonagh makes the perfect hit but gets called for interference, despite opponent holding the puck

Nobody could believe what they saw during Game 1 of the second-round playoffs between the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning. The series has been called The Sunshine Series, or the Battle of Florida, and it started at great speed with Tampa winning the first game, 4-1.

But afterward, a lot of the talking was about the officials. Neither team was happy with the refereeing from Jon McIsaac and Kelly Sutherland, and we can just imagine how angry Tampa defenceman Ryan McDonagh must have been in the third period.

The puck was flipped out of the Florida zone to Noel Acciari, who tried to gather the high puck as McDonagh came at full speed and took him down. McDonagh was penalized for interference, which almost everyone thought was strange, given that Acciari held the puck in his hand.

In the following power play, the Tampa scored, and the officials judged it a good goal, but it was disallowed after a coach’s challenge.

 The Tampa Bay Lightning’s players and coaches didn’t give the official too much stick after the game, but the Florida Panthers did.

The Panthers were called on six penalties during the game.

“Obviously, you know what they do,” coach Andrew Brunette said, talking about the Lightning. 

“They’re a veteran team, they’ve been in these kinds of situations, they sell it pretty good. And we just have to be a little aware of that and maybe sell it ourselves a little bit.”

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