Two referees who worked the controversial Game 7 between the Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks in the first round will not officiate in the second round.
Dan O'Halloran and Eric Furlatt were on the ice for a pivotal major penalty call in the third period that gave the Sharks a five-minute power play. The Sharks scored four times on the man advantage to erase a 3-0 deficit and won the game 5-4 in overtime. The Sharks will face the Colorado Avalanche in the second round.
Controversy stemmed from the fact that neither O'Halloran nor Furlatt signaled for a penalty when Sharks captain Joe Pavelski was cross-checked by Golden Knights forward Cody Eakin in the chest. Pavelski stumbled backward, collided with Vegas forward Paul Stastny and fell to the ice -- hitting his head and then bleeding. As Pavelski was being attended to by trainers, the officials huddled and Eakin was given a major penalty for cross-checking and a game misconduct.
The NHL's Department of Hockey Operations chooses which referees advance in the playoffs, with the pool whittled down after each series. It's especially notable that O'Halloran is not working, considering he leads all active refs in playoff games officiated. Game 7 was O'Halloran's 212th career playoff game.