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NHL Scandal Exposed: Referee Caught on Camera Rigging Game in Lightning vs. Canadiens Match

Published January 1, 2024 at 4:43 PM

Last night an absurd goal was scored and now there are allegations of game rigging after an alternate angle shows a referee giving a player special treatment.

Canadiens Defenseman Kovacevic Scores A Rare Goal

Empty net goals are rather common in the NHL with a few happening almost every night. However, empty net goals with the goalie in the net occurring during the middle of the second period are almost non-existent.

We did get to see an empty netter last night in the middle of the second period after the Tampa Bay Lightning mistakenly believed that the play was blown dead and the goaltender left the net allowing Canadiens defenseman Jonathan Kovacevic to shoot the puck right into the empty net

This is the most bizarre thing I've ever seen.

The whistle never blows, music starts playing in the arena and Kovacevic recognizes that Johansson left the TBL net because he thought play was dead.

Insane goal.

After the goal was scored, the Tampa Bay Lightning were obviously quite upset but the referee did not blow the whistle so it there was nothing they could argue.

New Angle Shows The Referee Favoring The Canadiens

An alternate angle of the goal shows what exactly happened between the Canadiens and the referee. First, it looks like the referee is about to blow the whistle but then decides not to and tells Kovacevic that the play is alive allowing him an opportunity to shoot the puck into the empty net.

The main reason why the Lightning players all thought that the play was dead was because music started playing. Former NHL goaltender Mike McKenna revealed that sometimes players cannot hear the whistle and it leads to them believing play is dead when they hear the music starting to play.

"You know who's fault this is? The in-house DJ. Itchy finger on the jams. Started playing music despite not hearing a whistle.

Sometimes players can't hear the whistle on the ice. But the moment you hear music, you know play has stopped.


It is a fluke play but for the referee to show this blatant favoritism and allowing the Canadiens to get a free goal is unethical. Thankfully, the Lightning were able to come back in regulation and defeat the Habs 4-3.

As seen on House of Hockey - NHL Referee Caught On Camera Rigging A Game Between The Lightning And The Canadiens
January 1   |   970 answers
NHL Scandal Exposed: Referee Caught on Camera Rigging Game in Lightning vs. Canadiens Match

Should Gary Bettman launch an investigation into this play?

Yes78580.9 %
No18519.1 %
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