Should Cal Clutterbuck have been awarded a penalty shot?

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Cal Clutterbuck received an early Christmas present from the referees.

NHL referees have been pretty generous in recent years when it comes to awarding penalty shots. Plays like this on Friday night in New York are a pretty nice example.

With the Rangers on a power play, defenseman Ryan McDonagh misplays the puck at the blue line and allows Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck to beat him to it. McDonagh then appears to recover with a nice defensive play to lift Clutterbuck's stick and knock the puck away.

The referee right in front of the play saw it as an opportunity to call a penalty shot. Clutterbuck would then beat Henrik Lundqvist for the games first goal. Here is the entire sequence, including Clutterbuck's goal.

Christmas came a few days early for Cal Clutterbuck.

Later in the period Michael Grabner would add another shorthanded goal for the Islanders (again after a turnover by McDonagh) to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead. The Rangers would score the next two goals to tie the game.

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