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Overturned targets stymie Tampa Bay Lightning in season finale

Lightning’s Anthony Cirelli has goal overturned (0:31) Anthony Cirelli finds the back of the net for the Lightning, but the goal is overturned due to goaltender interference. (0:31) Greg Wyshynski, ESPNApr 30, 2024, 12:19 AM ET Close Greg Wyshynski is ESPN’s senior NHL writer. Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper was highly critical of two goalie

Overturned targets stymie Tampa Bay Lightning in season finale

Lightning’s Anthony Cirelli has aim overturned (0:31)

Anthony Cirelli finds the again of the online for the Lightning, however the aim is overturned resulting from goaltender interference. (0:31)

  • Greg Wyshynski, ESPNApr 30, 2024, 12:19 AM ET


      Greg Wyshynski is ESPN’s senior NHL author.

Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper was extremely important of two goalie interference calls that went in opposition to his staff in its Recreation 5 loss to the Florida Panthers, which eradicated the Lightning from the Stanley Cup playoffs on Monday night time.

“That is clearly a turning level within the recreation. If anybody’s going to speak about this recreation, they are going to speak in regards to the targets that have been taken away,” Cooper stated after the 6-1 loss to Florida, a rating inflated by two empty-net targets by the Panthers.

The primary goalie interference evaluation was a coach’s problem initiated by Florida at 13 minutes of the primary interval. Video evaluation decided that Tampa Bay’s Anthony Duclair impaired Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky‘s means to play his place within the crease previous to Anthony Cirelli‘s aim.

Cooper felt that Panthers defenseman Gustav Forsling was holding Duclair on the play.

“You noticed our response. It is simply a kind of … it is very irritating,” Duclair stated. “I all the time have a ref screaming in my ear. I assumed I used to be out of the blue paint. Whenever you have a look at the video, I used to be clearly out of there. It’s what it’s, it is a judgment name.”

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The second goalie interference play occurred at 17:48 of the second interval, as a aim was instantly waved off when the officers stated Cirelli made incidental contact with Bobrovsky whereas battling defenseman Niko Mikkola. Tampa Bay challenged the decision, nevertheless it was upheld on video evaluation.

“Clearly, it sucks. However it’s our job to go on the market and preserve battling and attempting to get the subsequent one. Whenever you assume you could have a aim and it goes the opposite manner, you get down slightly bit. However it does not matter. You go on the market and preserve enjoying,” Cirelli stated.

Cooper felt that Bobrovsky embellished on the play.

“I am going to give the goalie credit score. He fully give up on the play. Did not see it, flailed and possibly there’s incidental contact at most. However now we’ve got to problem it as a result of they noticed the response from the goaltender,” Cooper stated. “Bob’s doing the correct factor. He duped them. So be it. However we’ve got to make that problem.”

Cooper felt the spirit of the goalie interference rule wasn’t violated by both play.

“On this league, targets are at a premium. All we have executed is make the principles for extra aim scoring. Yearly it looks like there’s one thing that we tweak so there’s extra aim scoring. That is nice. However there’s mandates. The phrases have been to drag a aim off the board, it must be unbelievably egregious. That is the usual,” he stated.

Cooper additionally felt that each performs have been indicative of the officers overprotecting goaltenders throughout battles in entrance of the online.

“Are net-front battles not allowed anymore? That is a part of everyone’s recreation. The boxing out that goes there’s like jail guidelines within the playoffs. However it’s not jail guidelines for the goalie? We’d as nicely put skirts on them then, if that is how it will be,” he stated. “They should battle by means of stuff too. It is a warfare down there. I feel we’re letting the goalies off the hook. They usually have far more pads on than everyone else does.”

Cooper reiterated that he did not consider the calls price the Lightning the sequence, however that they did change the momentum within the recreation.

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“That is simply my opinion, I felt it was slightly unfair. Within the playoffs, how do you let these slide,” he requested.

The Panthers received the sequence 4-1 and superior to face the winner of the Boston BruinsToronto Maple Leafs sequence. The Bruins maintain a 3-1 lead in that sequence, probably organising a rematch of final season’s epic first-round upset by Florida in seven video games.

For the Lightning, the loss begins a important offseason for the franchise. That features the way forward for 34-year-old star captain Steven Stamkos, who’s an unrestricted free agent this summer time. He had 40 targets in 79 video games this season for Tampa Bay, his sixteenth with the franchise.

“That by no means crossed my thoughts. I am on the market attempting to assist my staff win. Regardless, we’re attempting to attain. There’s plenty of pleasure on the road,” stated Stamkos, who waited close to the tunnel to the dressing room to greet each Lightning participant as they left the ice after the sport.

Cooper downplayed the truth that Stamkos may need performed his final recreation with the Lightning.

“I do not know if there will likely be a lot dialog. I hope not, anyway. He belongs right here. We all know it. He is aware of it,” the coach stated. “He and I’ve grown up collectively. He is a heck of a participant. He is in charge of his personal future. I do not know what is going on to occur. He looks like a Bolt for all times, however solely he and [GM Julien BriseBois] can reply that one.”

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