Dean Evason was left speechless on the Wild bench, a flabbergasted look on his face after the call.

With the Wild down by a goal in San Jose in December, Minnesota defenseman Matt Dumba had crushed then-San Jose forward Matt Nieto with a big, clean hit as Nieto skated the puck across the defensive blue line.

In a matter of moments, Dumba was confronted by two players. First, Sharks forward Kevin Labanc cross-checked Dumba in the chest and punched him in the face with his left glove. Then, as Dumba tried to fend the attack off, Labanc’s teammate defenseman Jaycob Megna interrupted the skirmish and instigated a fight.

All in reaction to a clean check.

The aftermath?

Referees Ghislain Hebert and Jordan Samuels-Thomas gave Dumba and Megna each fighting majors.

Nothing else. No penalty to Labanc. No “instigator” call for Megna, which would have come with 17 minutes of penalties: two minutes for instigating, five for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct.

Instead of what could have been a power play for the Wild, the ensuing faceoff was five-on-five. Evason threw his fourth line on the ice and Mason Shaw took a kneeing major that turned the game upside down and earned the Wild forward a suspension. The Sharks scored once on Shaw’s penalty and once shortly after to ice the game.

Afterward, Evason didn’t defend Shaw’s poor attempt at a check, but he did note that the cause and effect of the refs’ not applying the rulebook was a 3-1 Sharks lead. Along with Megna’s period’s worth of penalties would come a two-minute Wild power play and a prime shot at tying the game.