Goal or no goal: Mike Smith saves the game for the Coyotes

Coyotes goalie Mike Smith hasn’t had his best season, but he saved the game for Arizona Monday in a 3-2 shootout win over Chicago – in part thanks to a controversial call and video review in overtime. Judge for yourself whether he really saved the game, or whether the cameras saved it for him.

Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith hasn’t had his best season, but he did save the game for his team in a 3-2 shootout over the mighty Chicago Blackhawks. Or, if you’re a Hawks fan bitter in the wake of the loss, you could argue Smith didn’t save the game – he just couldn’t conclusively have been proven to have lost it during a controversial no-goal call and video review in the dying seconds of overtime at the United Center.

Playing on an abysmal Coyotes team, Smith has posted sub-par numbers (including an .896 save percentage and 3.26 goals-against average) this year. However, with just seconds remaining before the shootout, he stops Hawks center Andrew Shaw‘s initial shot, then stretches backward as the puck bounces behind him and gets his glove and stick on it just before it crosses the goal line:

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The manner in which Smith’s stick and glove came together over the puck made it impossible for the cameras to show the pick entering Arizona’s net, meaning the subsequent video replay was inconclusive. That worked in the Coyotes’ favor, and Smith went on to stop Hawks stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp in the shootout to give the visitors the victory.

The win was only the 20th of the season for Arizona and just the 10th of the year for Smith. But for one night, at least, the breaks went their way.