TORONTO -- The decision was swift and decisive, and in the judgment of veteran referee Dan O'Rourke, the first coach's challenge in NHL history went without a hitch.
At 6:35 of the second period in the NHL season opener Wednesday, the Montreal Canadiens appeared to score a go-ahead goal when defenseman Jeff Petry converted a behind-the-back pass from Max Pacioretty.
O'Rourke was the official down low and signaled a goal, but Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock decided to challenge the call on the ice after his assistant in the press box, Andrew Brewer, notified the bench there was goaltender interference on the play.
"I didn't challenge nothing," Babcock said. "[Brewer] yelled in [assistant coach] Jim Hiller's ear and Jim said, 'We're challenging.' Then they were good enough to put it up on the screen, so I knew by time the ref got over there we'd win it."
The Maple Leafs won the challenge but lost Babcock's debut as Maple Leafs coach, 3-1 at Air Canada Centre.