Kings forward Kevin Fiala was having a rough night with his stick. He put his team shorthanded after playing with a broken stick, only to later deflect in the game-winning goal off his stick in overtime.
Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine broke into the attacking zone, going one-on-one with Kings defenseman Sean Durzi. Gaudreau, trailing the play, batted the rebound down with his glove.
The puck landed in the crease where Fiala attempted to sweep it away, instead knocking it into his net.
The NHL’s Situation Room conducted an extensive review before confirming the call on the ice: good goal.
From Rule 78.5:
Apparent goals shall be disallowed … when the puck has been directed, batted or thrown into the net by an attacking player other than with a stick. When this occurs, if it is deemed to be done deliberately, then the decision shall be NO GOAL.
A goal cannot be scored when the puck has been deliberately batted with any part of the attacking player’s body into the net.
Gaudreau appeared to make an attempt to deflect the puck. There’s no point in debating his intent since it didn’t go directly into the net, but was played by an opponent.
Rule 78.4 covers goals scored off defending players:
A goal shall be scored if the puck is shot into the goal by a player of the defending side. The player of the attacking side who last touched the puck shall be credited with the goal but no assist shall be awarded.
A goal shall be scored if the puck is put into the goal in any other manner by a player of the defending side. The player of the attacking side who last touched the puck shall be credited with the goal and assists may be awarded.
Kings head coach Todd McLellan was frustrated with the decision, arguing that Fiala never had possession.
“We were told after it was ruled upon – and obviously the league and the referees get together – that it was gloved ahead but that we had possession,” said McLellan. “I obviously don’t agree with it, but there’s nothing I’m going to do about it.”
Had Fiala left it alone, it’s likely the goal wouldn’t have counted.
Playing the puck negated Gaudreau’s actions, resulting in a good goal.
Columbus won the game 6-5 in overtime. Referees were Chris Rooney (#5) and Beau Halkidis (#48), with linesmen Jesse Marquis (#86) and Devin Berg (#87).