Joe Pavelski wasn't happy with an overtime penalty call against Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn that ultimately led to the Tampa Bay Lightning's game-winning power-play goal in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Friday.
"The ref's got a tough job. I see it. It's in front of (referee) Kelly (Sutherland), he's got a great look at it, the back ref calls it," Pavelski said postgame. "I don't have a ton of time for a play where (Lightning forward) Tyler Johnson steps in front of Jamie Benn and has no real effect in the play.
"Jamie breathes on the guy and he falls over. Whether that's the case or not, there's a little battle going on there. It's playoffs, it's overtime, we expect five-on-five. We expect to battle it out."
Benn was called for tripping just over five minutes into overtime after taking down Johnson while the two battled for a loose puck. It was Dallas' fourth penalty of the game. Lightning defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk scored on the ensuing power play to give Tampa the win.
Stars head coach Rick Bowness also disagreed with the call.
"I saw two guys going for a loose puck, their guy hooking our guy, and our guy trying to fight through the hook. ... That's a hockey play," Bowness said. "That's what I saw. I looked at the replay a couple of times, and it's two guys in the playoffs and you're going for a loose puck."
He continued: "The players want to dictate the end of the game, and they're right. They want to play five-on-five and let's see what happens here. ... Let the players decide the game."
With the loss, the Stars have their backs against the wall and trail 3-1 in the series. Game 5 is set for Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.