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Refs got goalie interference non-call correct in Tampa Bay Lightning's 7-4 loss to Sabres

9

February

Just to follow up on what happened in the Tampa Bay Lightning's 7-4 loss to the Sabres on Tuesday night, it appears that, according to the rule book, the referees made the correct call in not penalizing Buffalo's Drew Stafford for goaltender interference or waiving off the goal that tied the score 3-3 in the third period.

The goal was the first in a five-goal third for the Sabres, who overcame a 3-1 second-period deficit. On the play, Buffalo's Drew Stafford fell and tripped Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson just as Jordan Leopold took a shot from the blue line. The puck went in while Roloson was on his back. But the referees allowed the goal to stand because Tampa Bay defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron, who was minus-4 in the game, was going to be called, on a delayed penalty, for tripping Stafford.

Lightning coach Guy Boucher declined to criticize the play and admitted Bergeron deserved a penalty. And according to Rule 69, which has to do with goaltender interference, "If an attacking player has been pushed, shoved or fouled by a defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with the goalkeeper, such contact will not be deemed contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact."

And while that goal was a focal point in the game, Boucher pointed out that the goals that cut Tampa Bay's deficit to 3-2 with 1:50 left in the second period (all defenseman Brett Clark had to do was chip the puck out of the zone, but his turnover instead led to the tally) and the goal that gave Buffalo a 4-3 lead in the third (defenseman Mattias Ohlund was slow getting to a puck behind the Lightning goal line and then turned it over) were more critical.

Whatever your take, the Lightning has to keep lose focus and composure in stressful situations, something the players readily admitted did not happen.

[Last modified: Friday, March 11, 2011 12:15am]

    

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