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Why Capitals Lost Coach’s Challenge For Goalie Interference vs. Islanders

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Officiating was not kind to the Washington Capitals in their return to home ice, as the team lost two coach’s challenges in the second period against the New York Islanders.

While the second call was a bit straightforward, the first led to a bit of controversy at Capital One Arena.

Just 4:55 minutes into the opening frame, Brock Nelson found the back of the net after picking up a rebound off Zdeno Chara’s point shot. However, Washington quickly challenged for goaltender interference. While Nelson cashed in on the rebound, Anders Lee was crashing the net and whacking Vitek Vanecek’s pads in front.

The argument from the Capitals was that Lee’s actions stopped Vanecek from getting across to stop Nelson. However, the referees ruled there was no goalie interference on the play. Washington not only saw the score tied 1-1 but also received a bench minor for delay of the game.

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The official explanation was as follows:

“Video review confirmed no goaltender interference infractions occurred prior to Brock Nelson’s goal.”

The league also believed that Lee’s actions did not hinder Vanecek’s ability to make a save. And Per Rule 69 in the NHL rulebook, “goals should be disallowed only if: (1) an attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal.”

Later in the frame, Justin Schultz scored to make it 2-1. However, the Islanders challenged for offside and won. Washington currently trails New York 2-1 in the third period.

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