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NHL apologises to Golden Knights for controversial penalty call

A penalty handed out to Cody Eakin riled the Vegas Golden Knights and prompted an apology from the NHL.

The NHL has apologised to the Vegas Golden Knights for the penalty call that contributed to their playoff exit to the San Jose Sharks.

With the Golden Knights leading 3-0 midway through the third period of the Game 7 decider at SAP Center on Tuesday, Cody Eakin was handed a five-minute major penalty for cross-checking Joe Pavelski.

The Sharks subsequently scored four goals in that period to turn the game on its head and ultimately advanced after overtime.

Vegas players and staff later criticised the severity of the costly call, with Jonathan Marchessault branding it "embarrassing", and the league responded.

Golden Knights general manager George McPhee said on Thursday: "The league did reach out and apologise.

"[The officials] made a mistake and I'm sure they feel bad about it. They want to get things right, like we all do when we're doing our jobs."

Eakin added: "Everyone saw the play and knows what happened. We can't think about it anymore really."

Vegas had reached the Stanley Cup Finals in their debut 2017-18 campaign, losing to the Washington Capitals.