NEW YORK – Just what Buffalo fans needed. Another replay review.
Unlike the Bills' controversial "incomplete pass" Sunday, the Sabres conclusively allowed a tying goal with 1:09 to play Wednesday.
That didn't make the situation any easier for Robin Lehner.
"I guess it's something in Buffalo waters, you know?" the goaltender said after a 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Islanders.
The review left Lehner in an expletive-tossing mood, one that Buffalo backers know all too well.
"Everything is predetermined against us," Lehner said in Barclays Center. "It's not to be sulking or anything. We're not where we want to be or anything like that. It's just how it is. It's just how it is. The Islanders are in a playoff spot, and it is what it is.
"We're one minute away from winning, 2-1, and we lose, 3-2."
Lehner and everyone in Brooklyn believed he made the save of the game with 1:09 to play, keeping Buffalo's one-goal lead intact. Josh Bailey accepted a cross-ice pass and fired it toward the net, and Lehner dived to his left to get his glove on the blast.
Play continued for 35 seconds, then off-ice officials in Toronto buzzed the referees to halt the game. Lehner immediately knew what that meant.
— Eyes on Isles (@eyesonislesFS) December 28, 2017
"I know Toronto already made up their mind it was a goal before they shot the puck," Lehner said. "It's just how it works in this league."
His mind raced back to Nov. 25 in Montreal. It appeared Sabres left wing Evander Kane scored in the final minute to end a shutout bid by goalie Carey Price, but the replay officials took the goal off the board in the Sabres' 3-0 loss.
"We scored a good goal, and the league kind of takes it away," Lehner said. "It's a good goal. They take it away, he gets a shutout. It's just how the league works. It's unfortunate."
The night continued its downward trend during overtime. Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak stopped a wide-open Kane in front. The Isles didn't miss.
Halak save on Kane before Barzal OT winner. pic.twitter.com/ADMSwgT2K2
— Bucci Mane (@Buccigross) December 28, 2017
Rookie sensation Mathew Barzal gunned the jets at his own blue line, zipped into the Sabres' zone, spun defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and fooled Lehner with 1:08 gone.
"I felt like I had a really good game, and I blew it on the last goal there," Lehner said. "I kind of got caught, and it's just something I want back."
— NHL (@NHL) December 28, 2017
New York improved to 20-13-4, including 12-3-3 at home, and dropped the Sabres to 9-20-8.
"It's just unfortunate," Buffalo coach Phil Housley said. "Even at 2-2 we had a couple good looks. Even in overtime we have a look. It's a common theme. When we're getting that golden look and we're not capitalizing on it, it comes back the other way."
The Sabres overcame a terrible start to control large segments of play. They allowed 10 of the opening 11 shots but finished with a 37-34 edge. Kyle Okposo scored with 8:27 left in regulation, a goal that appeared to be the winner until Toronto initiated the video review.
"With the exception of the first six, seven minutes of the game, I thought we outplayed them," Okposo said. "We had our chances. We played a pretty simple game and moved our feet. It's a tough outcome for us."
It was toughest on Lehner.
"It's unfortunate they get that guy on the back side and Robin tries to make a save," Housley said. "After we looked at it a couple times from the overhead cam, I didn't believe it was in. But seeing it from a different angle, it was definitely in."
Story topics: Robin Lehner