They did not want to talk about it, but it was clear after Game 1 that the Caps were not pleased about how Game 1 was officiated.
In a tense postseason matchup between two rivals that featured several scrums and dustups, Washington was not given a single power play and was shorthanded twice after what looked like soft calls.
Alex Ovechkin took an interference penalty in the first period for a weak hit on Patric Hornqvist and Matt Niskanen was given a slashing penalty for swiping at a puck just as Marc-Andre Fleury tried to freeze it.
“For all the stuff that was going on, I'm not going to criticize the referees,” Trotz said when asked about Niskanen’s penalty. “They do an outstanding job, but at the same time, I thought with all the stuff that was going on, it was a pretty light one.”
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, was given only one penalty on the night, a matching minor between Scott Wilson and Kevin Shattenkirk.
Considering how good the Caps are on the power play, it was frustrating for the team to not get that unit on the ice. That frustration was compounded by what looked like two rather soft calls against Washington.
Following the game, the players would not criticize the referees, but they still made their displeasure known.
“No comment,” Niskanen said when asked about the officiating.
“It was kind of weird game,” Ovechkin said. “No penalties on their side. Sometimes those kind of [expletive] happen and you just have to fight through it and just put the puck in.”
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