The shake of the head of Kings Coach Darryl Sutter on the bench told how he felt about a disallowed Kings goal Saturday.
He expanded on it, though, a day after officials ruled that Tanner Pearson caused Chicago’s Niklas Hjalmarsson to contact Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling to negate Tyler Toffoli’s goal in the opening minutes.
“If that’s goalie interference, then they don’t want any goals scored,” Sutter said. “Then you’re going to have to figure out how to win nothing-nothing if they want no goals scored.”
The notion that teams often use a coach’s challenge as a timeout has been popular since the NHL implemented the challenge last season. Sutter clearly thought that was the case 72 seconds into an eventual 2-1 Kings overtime win. Darling told reporters that he was interfered with and signaled for a challenge. Sutter differed.
“You really think that Chicago challenged that [Saturday] because they thought they were going to disallow it, or did they just think, ‘It’s first shift. Let’s just change momentum,’ ” Sutter said. “That’s what they tried to do. They thought the same as we did [that the goal would stand].”
Critique aside, it didn’t matter thanks to Jeff Carter’s NHL-leading sixth game-winning goal, on a wrist shot as Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook sprinted from the penalty box. Alec Martinez also scored and goalie Peter Budaj made 18 saves for his 12th win.
Marian Gaborik made his season debut, nine weeks after a broken foot injury. He played nearly 12 minutes, on the fourth line with Nick Shore and Jordan Nolan. He usually has a bigger role, and it will take time to get back into it.
“Hopefully I’ll get better and better with a couple of good practices,” Gaborik said. “It’s going to take some time, but hopefully not too long.”
Defenseman Tom Gilbert returned to the lineup but took two penalties and Sutter said he struggled with the pace. Was it because Gilbert hadn’t played in three games?
“It shouldn’t be,” Sutter said. “He should be well rested and ready to go.”