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Penguins' Kunitz loses goal in victory over Blue Jackets

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Monday, Feb. 27, 2012

Chris Kunitz was surprised when referees waved off a Penguins goal, ruling he had made contact with Columbus' goalie. But he wasn't alone.

"I was surprised by the call," Blue Jackets goalie Curtis Sanford said. "I wasn't expecting it. I thought there was going to be a faceoff at center ice."

With 10:37 left in Sunday's third period, the Penguins were celebrating a 3-1 lead when defenseman Kris Letang blasted a power-play goal past Sanford. But the goal was negated when Kunitz, who was skating across in front of Sanford, made minimal contact.

"There was very little contact," Sanford said, "and if there was any, it was before the play."

It was the second Penguins goal waved off in this game, and both involved Kunitz. With 15:15 left in the third, a puck shot by James Neal landed in the crease near Kunitz's skates. The puck slid into the goal, but referees ruled Kunitz had kicked it.

"Chris was disappointed on the first one, for sure, because he tried to kick it (to his stick) twice and missed," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "So when it went in, he was pretty sure he was going to get a goal called there."

The Penguins have had nine goals disallowed this season, and seven have involved a call against Kunitz.

> > Evgeni Malkin would have had assists on both disallowed goals, points that could have been useful in winning the NHL scoring title. Malkin, who has 78 points, leads Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos by three. Stamkos had two assists Sunday against New Jersey.

> > Arron Asham missed the game with an upper-body injury. The right wing was injured Saturday making a check behind the Penguins' goal. That was his fourth game back since missing 23 days earlier this season with a concussion.

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