The on-ice officials huddled with their headphones on. The Islanders, certain of the outcome of the overtime video review, were preparing to continue their penalty kill. The Hurricanes were at their bench, drawing up a new play rather than celebrating what turned out to be their eventual winner.
Then Vincent Trocheck’s power-play goal at 1:36 of overtime was upheld, sending the Islanders to a 3-2 loss — their sixth straight defeat — on Saturday afternoon at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum.
Trocheck banked the puck off sprawling Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield for the winning goal moments after Andrei Svechnikov swiped it off the crossbar with what appeared to be a high stick. It was ruled that the 6-2 Svechnikov’s stick was not over his shoulders, though it was above the crossbar.
“Because it didn’t go directly in the net, the high stick is the shoulders, not the crossbar,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said, relaying the explanation he was given. “They felt it wasn’t over the shoulders, therefore it’s in play and a good goal.”
It left the Islanders (35-23-9) in a 0-3-3 slide as they start a four-game road trip in Vancouver on Tuesday night.
The Islanders and Blue Jackets each have 79 points, with Columbus (32-22-15) having played two more games, and currently hold the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card spots. They are only two points ahead of the Hurricanes and three points ahead of the Rangers and Panthers.
Thomas Greiss made 25 saves for the Islanders and Anton Forsberg stopped 24 shots for the Hurricanes, who are 1-3-1 since regular goalies Petr Mrazek and James Reimer were injured in the same game.
The Islanders twice came back from one-goal deficits — Josh Bailey tied it at 2-2 with 4:58 left in the third period — but thanks to the odd ending, they were unable to gain another valuable point.
“It’s really confusing,” said Anders Lee, who notched his 300th career point by setting up Ryan Pulock to tie the score at 1 at 5:15 of the second period (the defenseman extended his goal streak to three games).
“You hate to see a game end like that,” Lee added. “That was a good hockey game. That doesn’t sit well at all. That’s just a tough way to lose a game.”
Especially after the Hurricanes’ game-deciding power- play goal followed an aborted Islanders power play. Former Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei tripped Mathew Barzal with 52 seconds left in the third period, but
Barzal was called for a four-minute high stick on Jordan Staal in the Hurricanes’ zone 28 seconds later.
“They got the necessary bounces today,” said Bailey, who knocked in the rebound of defenseman Noah Dobson’s shot for his first goal in six games. “I thought we played hard. I thought we played a pretty full 60 minutes. We just fell a little bit short. The goal in overtime, it’s an accidental high stick for Barzy. That stuff happens. Scotty [Mayfield] took one in the face for a few stitches.”
Bailey was referring to the sequence that immediately preceded the Hurricanes’ first goal, as Justin Williams tipped defenseman Haydn Fleury’s shot from the right point at 13:22 of the first period.
Behind Greiss’ crease, Mayfield had his right cheek cut by Teuvo Teravainen’s shoulder.
“They missed it,” Trotz said. “It wasn’t a high stick. They just said they didn’t see it, and you can’t call it if you don’t see it.”
Williams’ goal also withstood a video review as Mayfield clearly was bleeding.
“It’s tough,” Mayfield said. “A lot of stuff is tough right now. We’re not getting the bounces. We didn’t get some of the calls. But that happens. The play was kind of weird before the goal.”
The Hurricanes regained a 2-1 lead at 6:16 of the third period as defenseman Joel Edmundson was left wide open at the crease to tap in the rebound of Svechnikov’s shot from the right circle.