Islanders end losing streak thanks to controversial 14-round shootout


It would probably be an understatement to say the New York Islanders were in need of a win on Tuesday night.

They entered their game in Anaheim tied for the worst record in the league, were on a four-game losing streak, and were just 2-5-4 in their past 11 games. Not a great spot for a team that was in the second round of the playoffs just a few months ago.

Good news! They finally snapped that losing streak with 3-2 win in a 14-round shootout. But the win came with just a little bit of controversy.

In the 12th round of the shootout the Islanders needed a goal from defenseman Thomas Hickey to extend it to the next round. Hickey ended up scoring on a play where he appeared to force the puck in the net by using his stick to push the pad of Ducks goalie Jonathan Bernier across the goal line. That, of course, is not allowed.

The initial call on the ice was a goal, and after review the on-ice officials determined that it would be allowed to stand.

Have a look at the play and judge for yourself if that was going to go in the net with an extra push from Hickey.

Yeah. That looks like a pretty good push on Hickey’s part.

The NHL’s official explanation of the play simply said that “the Referee confirmed no goaltender interference infractions occurred before the puck crossed the goal line.”

The Islanders would win the shootout two rounds later thanks to a Nick Leddy goal.

Including Hickey’s controversial the Islanders faced four must-score situations in the shootout to keep it going and converted on all of them thanks to goals from John Tavares, Ryan Strome, Nikolay Kulemin and Hickey.

Hickey’s goal will also probably overshadow what was a spectacular performance all night by goaltender Thomas Greiss.

He stopped 39 of the 41 shots he faced through regular and overtime and then another 10 in the shootout.