The Coach’s Challenge taketh away… and, sometimes, the Coach’s Challenge giveth back. The Senators found this out after they challenged a goal against the Carolina Hurricanes that was initially disallowed for goaltender interference.



Ottawa winger Alex Formenton scored to put the Sens up 2-0 with 10:55 remaining in the third period.  Referee Jon McIsaac initially signaled a goal on the play. After discussion with referee Steve Kozari, the call on the ice was changed to no goal due to goaltender interference.

Sens head coach D.J. Smith called the officials over to discuss the play.

“What is your call?” he asked McIsaac.

“Contact before the puck went in,” was the referee’s reply according to the broadcast crew, alluding to the contact in the crease with goaltender Antti Raanta.

Smith challenged and the officials headed over to take a second look.

While there was no question that Formenton crashed into the Canes netminder, review revealed that Carolina’s Andrei Svechnikov was responsible for the contact. His right skate caught Formenton’s left leg, sending him in to Raanta.

From Rule 38.11:

The standard for overturning the call in the event of a “NO GOAL” call on the ice is that the NHL Situation Room, after reviewing any and all replays and consulting with the On Ice Official(s), determines that the goal on the ice should have been allowed because […]  the attacking Player was pushed, shoved or fouled by the defending Player causing the attacking Player to come into contact with the goalkeeper.

The goal stood. The Senators, leading 2-0, hung on for a 3-2 win.


The was the second challenge of the season for Ottawa head coach D.J. Smith; he’s a perfect 2-0.  Since stepping behind the Senators’ bench in 2019, Smith has gone 6-1 in Coach’s Challenges.

This is just the second ‘offensive’ coach’s challenge this season, where the team scoring challenges a disallowed goal for goaltender interference. Edmonton’s Dave Tippett successfully overturned an interference call to restore an Oilers goal on November 16.