NHL releases embarrassing statement on Sam Bennett controversial goal

Marvin Azrak
May 12, 2024  (9:55 PM)

Sam Bennet's controversial goal stood giving the Florida Panthers the edge in Game 4 over the Boston Bruins.
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Sam Bennett was back at it on Sunday, causing more trouble for the Boston Bruins. The Panthers were trailing 2-1 in the third period, and they were on the power play.

Then, Bennett gave Charlie Coyle a cross-check, Coyle collided with Jeremy Swayman, and Bennett snuck in to tie the game with a slick goal.
The Bruins weren't thrilled and challenged for goalie interference, but to everyone's surprise, the goal counted, much to the frustration of the TD Garden crowd. Fans were scratching their heads because it looked like textbook goaltending interference according to NHL rules.
If a defending player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by an attacking player so as to cause the defending player to come into contact with his own goalkeeper, such contact shall be deemed contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, and if necessary a penalty assessed to the attacking player and if a goal is scored it would be disallowed.

Then, the NHL tried to explain their decision, but it just left everyone even more confused.
Video review supported the Referees' call on the ice that that the shove by Florida's Sam Bennett on Charlie Coyle and the subsequent contact with Jeremy Swayman did not prevent Swayman from playing his position in the crease prior to Bennett's goal.

Fans were in an uproar as each angle of the play clearly shows interference.
The goal confirmed Bennett's not winning any popularity contests in Beantown anytime soon, especially after he injured Boston's captain Brad Marchand with a brutal hit in game 3.
The Bruins' unsuccessful challenge handed the Panthers another power play chance. They didn't capitalize on it, but they gained momentum and soon took the lead 3-2, putting themselves in a commanding position with a 3-1 series lead and leaving Boston teetering on the brink of elimination. Game 5 is Tuesday in Florida, where the Cats will seek to oust the B's for a second consecutive year.
One could make the argument that even if the NHL made the wrong call, Boston were outshot 13-2 in the third period, 41-18 in the game, and deserved to lose anyways. Yet the reality was Jermey Swayman was at the top of his game again, and likely would've at least sent this game to overtime, still giving the Bruins life. The blown call also continued a spike in successful challenges when it comes to the goaltender interference rule.
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NHL releases embarrassing statement on Sam Bennett controversial goal

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