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Penguins notebook: Bylsma would like to see replay expanded

| Friday, March 28, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
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The Blue Jackets' Nathan Horton knocks down the Penguins' Beau Bennett while battling for the puck during the first period Friday, March 28, 2014, in Columbus, Ohio.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Coach Dan Bylsma most assuredly would have liked center Brandon Sutter's goal to count Thursday at Consol Energy Center.

After some reflection, however, Bylsma refused to blame the officials for the ruling.

Rather, he wouldn't mind seeing certain decisions taken out of their hands.

“I think the goalie interference call is way too difficult for the referees to judge in the game,” Bylsma said. “The timing of it, the location of it, whether he is pushed in (to the goalie) or not. I just think it's way too hard for the ref to judge it.”

As of now, instant replay is used only to determine if a puck has entirely entered the net or not.

On Thursday, it was deemed that Sutter interfered with goaltender Martin Jones, which is why what would have been a game-tying goal was waved off.

Sutter was contacted by Kings defenseman Drew Doughty before going into the net area.

Bylsma wouldn't mind if such decisions were made in the war room in Toronto.

“Sometimes there is more to this than saying, ‘Hey, we should review more things.' Every goal is reviewed. (But) it could be. I would like to see it. I think it could be expanded.”

‘Could have been worse'

Penguins center Marcel Goc is done for the remainder of the regular season and might not be available to play when the Stanley Cup playoffs begin April 16.

However, Bylsma admitted to feeling fortunate that Goc was only out for three weeks.

His foot twisted badly into the Consol Energy Center boards Thursday against the Kings.

It had the look of a season-ending injury.

“I hate to say it when I have an injury report like this to give,” Bylsma said. “But it could have been worse.”

Goc was acquired March 5, and while he hasn't scored any goals for the Penguins, has been defensively reliable and one of the team's best faceoff contributors.

Bylsma confirmed that the injury is to Goc's ankle.

With Goc out of the lineup, the Penguins were forced to use forward Jussi Jokinen at center.

He has been almost exclusively at left wing this season but has a history of playing center.

Jokinen started between wingers James Neal and Beau Bennett against the Blue Jackets.

Off day for Olli

Rookie defenseman Olli Maatta, a candidate for the Calder Trophy presented to the NHL's finest rookie, hasn't looked like himself for a couple of weeks.

Bylsma decided to give the 19-year-old a night off when the Penguins played the Blue Jackets.

The coach confirmed that Maatta was a scratch because he wanted the rookie to rest.

This isn't unprecedented. Maatta endured a tough stretch in late December — he was on the top pairing during much of that time because of injuries to Kris Letang and Paul Martin — and was given the day off Dec. 31 in New Jersey.

He responded with some of his finest hockey of the season.

Maatta is a minus-4 in the 14 games since the Olympic break. He played in seven Olympic games for Team Finland.

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jyohe@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.

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