Lightning’s Jon Cooper disagrees with Game 4 overtime goal: ‘You’re going to see what I mean’

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The Colorado Avalanche are just one win away from becoming Stanley Cup champions but Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper does not believe that Nazem Kadri’s overtime goal should have counted after six Avs players appeared to be on the ice at the time the game-winner was scored. 

Cooper, who is looking to lead the Lightning to three consecutive titles, struggled to speak with reporters following Wednesday night’s loss. 

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri, # 91, shoots the puck into the top of the goal past Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, #88, for a goal during overtime of Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in Tampa, Fla.

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri, # 91, shoots the puck into the top of the goal past Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, #88, for a goal during overtime of Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in Tampa, Fla.
(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

“This one is going to sting much more than others,” Cooper said of the 3-2 loss. “It’s hard for me. It’s going to be hard for me to speak. I’m going to have to speak. I’ll speak with you tomorrow. You’re going to see what I mean when you see the winning goal. And my heart breaks for the players because we probably still should be playing. I’ll be available tomorrow.” 

AVALANCHE’S NAZEM KADRI SCORES GAME 4  GAME-WINNER  IN RETURN FROM INJURY, COLORADO ONE WIN AWAY FROM TITLE

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JUNE 22: Head Coach Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning looks on during the second period against the Colorado Avalanche in Game Four of the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena on June 22, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. 

TAMPA, FLORIDA – JUNE 22: Head Coach Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning looks on during the second period against the Colorado Avalanche in Game Four of the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena on June 22, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. 
(Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Kadri returned to the bench after being sidelined with a broken thumb June 4. After scoring 12:02 into overtime, a wider look appeared to show Nathan MacKinnon still on the ice – seemingly not clearing for the bench in time.

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The NHL released a statement saying the penalty is a judgment call that can be made by the on-ice officials, and each of the four officials said they did not see too many men on the ice during the winning play. The call is not subject to video review.

Gabriel Landeskog, #92 of the Colorado Avalanche, celebrates with teammates after a goal is scored against Andrei Vasilevskiy, #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning, during the second period in Game Four of the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena on June 22, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.

Gabriel Landeskog, #92 of the Colorado Avalanche, celebrates with teammates after a goal is scored against Andrei Vasilevskiy, #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning, during the second period in Game Four of the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena on June 22, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.
(Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

“I’m not quite sure what he was thinking, why it shouldn’t have counted,” Kadri said of Cooper’s remarks.  “The puck hit the back of the net, end of story.”

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Tampa Bay will look to keep their hopes of a third consecutive title alive when they visit Colorado for Game 5 on Friday night. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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