PITTSBURGH — Mike Sullivan made a major impact for the Pittsburgh Penguins and some NHL history with his coach’s challenge in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Sullivan made the first coach’s challenge in Final history in the second year the procedure has been allowed. The Penguins coach challenged what looked like the Nashville Predators’ first goal by P.K. Subban 7:13 into the first period on the basis that the play was offside.
In consultation with the NHL’s situation room, linesman Brian Murphy ruled that Predators winger Filip Forsberg didn’t have possession of the puck and was therefore offside by inches, if not less. Commission Gary Bettman said in his state of the league address prior to the game that the coach’s challenge video review system was working as intended.
Sullivan is now 2-for-2 in challenging goals in the playoffs. Neither he nor San Jose Sharks coach Peter DeBoer challenged a goal for offside or goaltender interference during the 2016 Final.
After Subban’s goal was wiped out, the Penguins scored three goals on five shots later in the first period.
In his bench interview with NBC, Sullivan said his team has a three-way radio setup and that he usually opts to challenge if it’s close. So far five goals have been overturned by coach’s challenges or league-initiated video review in the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Penguins held on for a 5-3 victory to take a 1-0 series lead. Game 2 is Wednesday night.