The New York Islanders captured a much-need victory on Tuesday night in Anaheim, but it wasn’t easy. It took a marathon shootout and a controversial goal ruling to help them get it.
After regulation and overtime ended with the Isles and Ducks deadlocked at 2-2, the contest headed to a shootout to decide a victor. Ultimately, it took a whopping 14 rounds for New York to come away with the dub, but let’s focus in on the 12th frame.
After Anaheim rookie defenseman Shea Theodore put one past Thomas Greiss to open Round 12, the Islanders were on the ropes. They needed a goal from Thomas Hickey to keep the game alive. Then, this happened.
It initially looked like Hickey had been stopped by the pad of Ducks goalie Jonathan Bernier, which would have given the Ducks the victory, but the puck crossed the line and referees signaled a goal. However, upon inspection of the replays, it seemed pretty clear that Hickey used his stick to forcibly push Bernier’s pad over the goal line and jam the puck into the net. That’s not legal.
Bernier immediately protested the goal call and the on-ice officials went to review, but the goal ultimately stood.
After the game, the league released a statement explaining the ruling:
In the shootout of the Islanders/Ducks game, the Situation Room initiated a review under the terms of a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Islanders shooter Thomas Hickey interfered with Anaheim goaltender Jonathan Bernier prior to his shootout goal.
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Referee confirmed no goaltender interference infractions occurred before the puck crossed the goal line.
Therefore the original call stands – good goal New York Islanders.
It was a curious explanation, given that it only references goaltender interference in the official language.
Regardless, the shootout continued and Nick Leddy would eventually get the game-winner for the Isles a couple of rounds later. Any 14-round shootout loss is pretty tough to swallow, but it’s especially difficult when you feel you’ve been robbed. The Ducks seem to have a case here.