NHL

Was Nikita Kucherov�s unique shootout goal intentional or a lucky accident?

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov sent the hockey world into a bit of a frenzy over the weekend with a unique shootout goal that almost looked like it might have been accidental.

In the second round of Saturday's shootout against the Sabres, Kucherov potted the game-winner when he slid the puck five-hole on Buffalo goalie Robin Lehner. But it was Kucherov waving his stick in front of the puck before it found the net that sparked some debate.

Even the Lightning's Twitter account addressed the confusion.

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"oh my GOD, did you see that?!" 🤣 #TBLvsBUF pic.twitter.com/TAq75WQbg9

— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) March 5, 2017

After the game, Kucherov set the record straight -- yes, it was an intentional move. Some of his Tampa teammates backed him up, saying it's a move that the winger has been working on in practice.

Wow !! He did that twice this week in practice. pic.twitter.com/k1zo0zqsqi

— Steven Stamkos (@RealStamkos91) March 5, 2017

Even if it wasn't intentional, it still was effective in playing mind games with Lehner, who looked legitimately upset that he allowed that one to get by him.