Early in the second period of Washington’s 2-1 win over Carolina on Sunday it appeared as though Brooks Laichhad broken a scoreless tie.

Laich crashed into the crease and knocked the puck past Carolina goaltender Cam Ward with 3 minutes 34 seconds gone in the middle stanza and on-ice officials initially ruled it was a good goal. In the moments that followed, however, the ruling was reversed.

The tally was overruled after the four on-ice officials conferred and determined that Laich made incidental contact with Ward on the play.

According to Rule 78.5 on disallowed goals: “Apparent goals shall be disallowed by the referee and the appropriate announcement made by the public address announcer for the following reasons.” The 13-item list includes “when an attacking player has interfered with a goalkeeper in his goal crease.”

The explanation wasn’t announced to the Verizon Center crowd but one was given to the Capitals’ bench. Both officials refused to comment on the call after the game. Given the rule stated above it’s a bit surprising there was no reasoning given publicly, whether during the game or afterward.

Referee Kyle Rehman originally called the play a goal, according to Laich, but the other three officials said there was contact and overruled. Apparently, the league’s situation room in Toronto called to confirm what the officials saw but that a review was not requested by the referees.

“Something wasn’t making sense there,” alternate captain Mike Knuble said. “I had to ask them in a commercial break what was happening. I just didn’t get the flow, it just didn’t sound right the way the system works. For it to be called a goal on the ice, he said they overruled it on the ice. Then Toronto’s calling and I don’t get it.”

While it would have been an important goal for the Capitals it also would have been a big goal for Laich, who has just one in his past 15 contests.

“I don’t remember hitting him. I tried to go to the net and get a shot, after that whatever happens is out of my hands,” Laich said. “It’s something that happens, I try to score a goal, it doesn’t go in. I’m not going to whine and cry about it. Life goes on.”

More on Capitals vs. Hurricanes:

Vokoun, Orlov lead Caps into first place

Summary: Capitals 2, Hurricanes 1

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