Colin Campbell made it clear– Drew Doughty’s game-winning goal should have been disallowed.
The NHL Senior Vice-President and Director of Hockey Operations confirmed there was a scoreboard error in the Los Angeles Kings’ controversial victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night.
"Nothing is 100 per cent. I’m fairly certain that this clock stopped at one second," Campbell said to Bob McCown and John Shannon on Prime Time Sports Thursday evening. "The puck went in at 0.4 so the goal should not have counted."
Campbell said despite all the replay evidence that proves the clock had stopped; the result of the game cannot change. He said the NHL will take preventative action to make sure a similar situation cannot occur in the future.
"We have to give our people a heads up," Campbell explained. "If we caught this quick enough – within say a minute, we’d tell the teams to get back on the ice. It might take four-to-five minutes and if we determine that his was not a good goal- then all hell breaks in L.A. Then too bad, that’s our decision."
The NHL plans to further investigate the situation. Campbell explained that people must take into account the fact there is still an element of human error involved, which has affected the results of previous games this season.
"I can tell you earlier in the week, there was an offside goal that should not have counted,” he said. “But it was not caught and we are counting the goal and the team lost by one goal. It happens."
Campbell understands that the other teams in the Western Conference playoff race were greatly affected by the scoreboard mistake. He hopes that the league can ensure that a similar situation will not occur again in a critical moment.
"You hope that these teams can catch up over 82 games,” he said. “When you have trouble is in the playoffs when it’s difficult to catch up."
Dean Lombardi came out and defended the scoreboard but Campbell did not buy his excuse. He said he talked to Flames GM Jay Feaster on Thursday and ensured him the league was taking the right actions to solve the problem in the future.
The Kings currently sit seventh in the Western Conference and remain five points ahead of the Minnesota Wild and six points ahead of the Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars.