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Garbutt goal confuses candid Couture, Sharks

Logan Couture gave an honest assessment of the Ducks’ controversial first goal.

NHL: San Jose Sharks at St. Louis Blues Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

SAN JOSE — Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Garbutt’s first period goal in the Ducks’ 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks gave the Sharks a flashback to a memory that they’d like to forget.

Ryan Garbutt came down the right wing with speed, and Sharks defenseman Brent Burns pushed Garbutt into a collision with goaltender Martin Jones. The puck went into the net as the result of the collision, and upon further review and amidst a coach’s challenge, it was determined the puck crossed the line before the net was dislodged.

Sharks center Logan Couture said it reminded him Joe Pavelski’s disallowed overtime goal in game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Nashville Predators, which he said was overturned for the reason Garbutt’s goal was upheld.

“It’s a rule that I guess I’ll never understand because last year we were told, in the Nashville series, that [Joe Pavelski] was pushed in and he should have made the effort to stop,” Couture said, “And tonight, they just said [Garbutt] was pushed in, even though he didn’t make an effort to stop. I don’t understand what the league’s doing with that rule, so maybe some more clarification’s needed.”

In that case, the net was not dislodged as it was last night by Garbutt, but Pavelski’s goal was ultimately overturned because the officials determined that he had not “made a reasonable effort to avoid contact” with goaltender Pekka Rinne.

In an explanation as to why the officials upheld the goal amidst Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer’s challenge, the NHL emphasized the contact Sharks defenseman Brent Burns made with Garbutt on the play:

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Referee confirmed that the actions of San Jose's Brent Burns caused Garbutt to contact Jones before the puck crossed the goal line. The decision was made in accordance with Note 2 of Rule 78.7 (ii) which states, in part, that the goal on the ice should be allowed because "the attacking Player was pushed, shoved or fouled by a defending Player causing the attacking Player to come into contact with the goalkeeper."

DeBoer said it’s “fair to say” he was frustrated Garbutt’s goal stood given the context of the Pavelski call. Pavelski said that the players “just look for consistency” on those type of calls, but that it’s ultimately out of the players’ control.

“Sometimes you get those calls, sometimes you don’t obviously,” Pavelski said. “You’ve just got to keep working.”