Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner said the NHL “predetermined” that his team would lose a video goal review on Wednesday night in Brooklyn, one that resulted in the New York Islanders’ game-tying tally with 1:09 left in regulation.
With their goalie pulled, the Islanders worked the puck to winger Josh Bailey, who rifled a shot on the Buffalo net. Lehner stretched out and appeared to make a spectacular glove save to preserve the 2-1 Sabres lead. Play continued until there were 34.8 seconds left in regulation when it was halted by off-ice officials in the NHL’s Toronto war room so the save could be reviewed for a potential goal scored.
The review determined that the puck crossed the goal line while inside Lehner’s glove, giving New York a 2-2 tie.
The NHL’s official angle on Isles’ tying goal. pic.twitter.com/PdOiGfkOr1
— John Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl) December 28, 2017
“I know Toronto already made up their mind it was a goal before they shot the puck. It’s just how it works in this League,” Lehner said after the Sabres’ (9-20-8) 3-2 overtime loss to the Islanders (20-13-4). “Everything is predetermined against us. It’s not to be sulking or anything. We’re not where we want to be or anything like that. It’s just how it is. The Islanders are in a playoff spot, and you know, it is what it is.”
Lehner claimed that it wasn’t the first time this season that the NHL had “predetermined” that the Sabres would lose a late-game video review. The NHL took a goal away from the Sabres in a Nov. 26 game against the Montreal Canadiens, as it was determined that forward Sam Reinhart made contact with goalie Carey Price before the puck crossed the line late in the third period.
“Toronto has predetermined it. You know, we played in Montreal, and Price is having a shutout. We score a good goal, and the League took it away. It’s just how the League works,” he said.
Lehner indicated that this might just be a Buffalo thing, citing a controversial call in the Buffalo Bills’ loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday, when wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin had overturned by video review a touchdown that would have given Buffalo a second-quarter lead. The Patriots won 37-16.
“I guess it’s something in Buffalo waters, you know? The Bills have that play last game … it’s just what it is,” he said.