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Laine on officiating error: ‘That’s the biggest joke I’ve ever seen’

Patrik Laine didn’t shy away from expressing his displeasure after Sunday’s loss against the Carolina Hurricanes — and it had nothing to do with his new city, his teammates or the dynamic with head coach John Tortorella.

His ire stemmed from a refereeing error. Prior to a Vincent Trocheck goal at 18:45 of the second period, which gave Carolina a 4-3 lead, Columbus requested a coach’s challenge for an off-side call. The NHL said after the game the challenge should have resulted in Carolina’s goal being disallowed.

Instead, during the play review, a miscommunication between the replay booth, the linesmen and the NHL’s Situation Room took place, leading to play resuming before all replays were reviewed to confirm the off-side. The goal stood and Columbus was assessed a delay of game penalty. During the second intermission, it was confirmed that the play was indeed off-side and the remaining 45 seconds of the penalty were rescinded — but the goal was never revoked.

“I think that’s the biggest joke I’ve ever seen,” Laine told reporters after the game. “Especially this kind of game, two good teams playing good hockey in a tight game that should have been 3-3 and not 4-3, it’s a tough one. But we all make mistakes and you just have to learn from them and move on.”

In a game that was tied four times, the error proved costly even if it didn’t give Carolina the game-winner. The Blue Jackets managed to tie the game in the third period, only to fall behind once more to a Jordan Staal power-play goal at 5:33 of the third period, followed by a Dougie Hamilton floater that gave Carolina a two-goal lead.

Laine netted his second goal of the game with 57 seconds remaining but Columbus would get no closer, losing by one, as they were following the officiating miscommunication.

“That was so generous of them to take the 45 seconds off the clock,” Laine said, when asked about the impact of the decision on the third period. “I’ve never seen that one before but I guess there’s always a first time. I think there were a couple mistakes that cost us. But we were still able to get one goal at the end, just came up a little bit short.”

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