The Colorado Avalanche had a goal waved off that they tried – and failed – to restore through a Coach’s Challenge.
The Avs’ Valeri Nichushkin fired the puck past Predators goaltender Connor Ingram for a potential 2-1 lead. Before the puck crossed the line, Colorado winger Artturi Lehkonen headed into the crease where he made contact with the Nashville netminder. Lehknonen was cross-checked by the Preds’ Dante Fabbro, knocking him over the goalie.
Referee Steve Kozari waved off the goal immediately. The Colorado Avalanche, though, opted to challenge the play.
There’s no question Fabbro shoved Lehkonen into the goaltender. The problem was that Lehkonen was already there. The Avs winger established position in the crease and initiated contact with Ingram before Fabbro delivered the hit.
Retired NHL referee Don Koharski, currently a rules analyst, weighed in on the play.
The original play, Lehkonen goes in there on his own. He initiates contact with the goaltender and it’s [a push from Nashville Predators forward Dante] Fabbro after the fact. That’s what the referee Rehman had reacted to — the initial contact by the attacking player on his own going to the blue. The correct call on the ice is no goal. When this [review] comes back, it’s going to stand as a no goal: goaltender interference.
Most challenges look to overturn a good goal for a missed infraction. In this case, the attacking team – Colorado – was challenging to overturn the interference call and allow the goal.
Such ‘offensive challenges’ are somewhat rare. Just 14 of the 209 Coach’s Challenges (7%) this season were made by the attacking team in hopes of getting a goal awarded. Teams must have been confident to issue those; they typically worked out well. Eight of those 14 (57%) were successful.
On this night, though, Jared Bednar and the Colorado Avalanche weren’t so lucky – at least with the challenge.
The Avs went on to win the game 2-1 in overtime.
Officials were referees Steve Kozari (#40) and Kyle Rehman (#10) with linesmen Derek Nansen (#70) and David Brisebois (#96).