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THN.com Playoff Blog: When a hat trick isn't really a hat trick

Brenden Morrow's first disallowed goal of the night was ruled to have been kicked in. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Brenden Morrow's first disallowed goal of the night was ruled to have been kicked in. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

A pair of Joes and a couple recent Doug Wilson pickups trump a Brenden Morrow hat trick that wasn't, and the San Jose Sharks force a Game 6 back in Dallas after handing the Stars a 3-0 series lead.

If you understand any of that introductory sentence, perhaps you can explain to the rest of us why Morrow's first goal was disallowed, and how Evgeni Nabokov possibly allowed Morrow's second goal – and whether Morrow mistook the puck for a video replay official's face as he delicately punched it into the net for his third goal.

And if you're wondering how Morrow could've had a hat trick in a 3-2 overtime loss…well, his first and third goals didn't count, and his second goal did, even though it was the ugliest one of the bunch. None of them were pretty, no matter how many times the video replay crew looked at them.

Morrow's first (non-)goal was the controversial one. In the late stages of the second period with Dallas up 1-0, Morrow drove to the net and had a centering pass deflect in off his back skate as he battled for position (and his balance) while crashing the crease. No way – no way – could he have seen the puck coming (he certainly wasn't looking at it as it approached his right skate as he approached the blue ice at breakneck speed and entangled with a defenseman).

On top of that, there was no kicking motion either. If you can accept there was no goalie interference (and let's just leave that debate for another day), the goal should have counted. Period.

Somehow, though, the three wise men upstairs saw something the rest of us didn't, and the goal was waved off.

No matter. Morrow is proving to be a determined young man in these playoffs and he returned to the ice a couple minutes later and, with a karmic flick of his wrists from the right faceoff circle, fired a low shot between Nabokov's legs that gave Dallas a commanding 2-0 lead and might have ruined the Shark goalie's summer if not for Joes T. and P.

Not that Joe T. (as in Thornton, in case you've forgotten about him during this post-season) was spectacular, he wasn't, but he did set up a bang-bang fast goal by Milan Michalek to get San Jose on the board in the third period, pulling the Sharks within 2-1.

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But before San Jose's first goal came Morrow's third goal – or, if you prefer, his second non-goal – as he tried to deliver a knockout blow to San Jose's playoff hopes by swatting the puck in with his glove during a Dallas power play early in the third.

OK, he was actually trying to knock the puck down to his stick, but that didn't work and he good-naturedly laughed off the officials' decision after waving a white towel of surrender following the botched call on his first goal – or, if you prefer, his first non-goal.

A couple minutes later, Joe T. (to Michalek) gave the Sharks hope, and then, of all the fin joints in all the towns in all the world, Jeremy Roenick's breakaway pass to Brian Campbell – both players are first-year Sharks thanks to GM Doug Wilson – made it 2-2 when Campbell sniped a shot that beat Marty Turco high to the glove side, of all places.

Enter overtime, and Joe P. (as in Pavelski), with his team-leading fifth goal – and third game-winner of the playoffs – just 65 seconds into the extra frame, a perfectly placed top-corner gem that might convince more Sharks, even Joe T., to more often start shooting high on Turco.

And just like that, it's a series again, and to both teams you might say, "To Morrow is another day." And while the Sharks might even go for that line, don't expect Brenden to take the bait.

THN.com's Playoff Blogs, featuring analysis and opinion on the action from the night before, with insight on what happened and what it all means going forward, will appear daily throughout the NHL playoffs. Read more entries HERE.

Sam McCaig is The Hockey News' senior copy editor and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Tuesdays and his column, From The Point, every second Friday.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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