Just when it looked like the Sharks had solved Colorado Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer, their first goal in Saturday night's game had to wait.
The Sharks appeared to take the lead just over seven minutes into Game 5 of the Stanley Cup playoff second-round series with the Avalanche. Joe Thornton dished the puck to Kevin Labanc off a zone entry, and Kevin Labanc picked a corner over Grubauer's left shoulder.
Referee Marc Joannette signaled that Labanc had scored, but Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen was down on the ice after an apparent collision in front of Grubauer. Timo Meier's stick was tangled with Colorado defenseman Tyson Barrie, and replays indicated Meier's stick caught Rantanen up high.
Behind the play, referee Tim Peel raised his arm for a delayed penalty on the Sharks.
Referee Tim Peel had his arm up before the goal was scored. He was probably just telling the situation room that he was in the process of calling the penalty. pic.twitter.com/PxdQowJ9vU— Martin Biron (@martybiron43) May 5, 2019
After the officials conferred to talk things over, Peel announced that Meier had been called for a high-sticking penalty. An apparent early Sharks lead turned into a penalty kill, and San Jose no longer was on the board.
The Sharks prevented a two-goal swing and killed off Meier's penalty, limiting the Avalanche to just two shot attempts on their man advantage. San Jose pressed the advantage as the period went on, but couldn't capitalize on its own power play.
The call didn't immediately bite the Sharks, but that might not offer much solace as Game 5 progresses.