TORONTO — The league is investigating a game-clock error in a Kings-Blue Jackets game that Columbus general manager Scott Howson said could have an "enormous impact" on the Western Conference playoff race.
In Wednesday's game at Los Angeles, the clock briefly stopped with 1.8 seconds left in regulation, giving the Kings' Drew Doughty enough time to score for a 3-2 win. According to the clock, the puck crossed the goal line with less than a second to play. When Columbus officials looked at video after the game, they discovered the clock had stopped for roughly a second just before the goal, meaning time should have expired before it was scored.
Colin Campbell, the league's senior executive vice president of hockey operations, said Thursday the goal shouldn't have counted and the league would investigate to determine what caused the error.
The result of the game stands.
Campbell said he can't recall a similar situation in his 14 years with the league.
Kings GM Dean Lombardi told the Los Angeles Times in an email the delay was caused by the clock "recalibrating" after moving too quickly during the "10-10ths of a second" before the delay.
In a strongly worded post on his blog on the Blue Jackets' website, Howson said the problem was either deliberate or a malfunction and though his team is last in the league, being denied the chance to get at least a point with a regulation tie matters to the organization and its fans.
That Los Angeles could eventually have lost to Columbus in overtime or a shootout and gotten one point instead of two also matters, he said. The Kings are seventh in the West; six points separate them from 10th-place Colorado. "What if the Kings make the playoffs by one point or gain home ice advantage by one point?" Howson said.
The post was taken down later Thursday. Howson believed he made a few points "too strongly," a team spokesman told the Columbus Dispatch.
game highlights: The Oilers' Sam Gagner had eight points (four goals), tying the team game record shared by Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey, in host Edmonton's 8-4 shellacking of the Blackhawks. It was the first eight-point game in the NHL since the Penguins' Mario Lemieux on Dec. 31, 1988.
First Period—1, Carolina, E.Staal 12 (Tlusty, Spacek), 11:51. Penalties—Krejci, Bos (boarding), 15:33.
Second Period—2, Carolina, Ruutu 16 (Bra.Sutter, Stewart), 16:41. Penalties—Seidenberg, Bos (hooking), 19:25.
Third Period—3, Carolina, Bra.Sutter 12 (Nodl), 3:13. Penalties—Faulk, Car (kneeing), 7:54; Lucic, Bos (roughing), 9:39; Jokinen, Car (slashing), 14:07; Marchand, Bos (slashing), 14:15. Shots on Goal—Carolina 8-14-9—31. Boston 22-5-20—47. Power-play opportunities—Carolina 0 of 4; Boston 0 of 2. Goalies—Carolina, Ward 19-18-8 (47 shots-47 saves). Boston, Rask 11-6-2 (31-28).
First Period—1, Phila., Simmonds 14 (Schenn, Rinaldo), 15:41. Penalties—Jagr, Phi (hooking), 9:03; Carle, Phi (hooking), 16:38.
Second Period—2, Phila., Read 16, 14:32. Penalties—Nashville bench, served by Bourque (too many men), 9:56; Suter, Nas (delay of game), 10:22; Legwand, Nas (roughing), 12:18; Bouillon, Nas (roughing), 12:18; Hartnell, Phi (slashing, roughing), 12:18; Voracek, Phi (roughing), 12:18; Lilja, Phi (roughing), 15:18.
Third Period—3, Nashville, Suter 6 (C.Smith, Halischuk), 8:37. 4, Phila., Simmonds 15 (Giroux, Timonen), 15:19 (pp). 5, Phila., Giroux 19 (Jagr, Timonen), 18:55 (en). Penalties—Smithson, Nas (interference), 14:44. Shots on Goal—Nashville 12-4-11—27. Phila. 6-11-11—28. Power-play opportunities—Nashville 0 of 4; Phila. 1 of 3. Goalies—Nashville, Lindback 2-6-0 (27 shots-24 saves). Phila., Bryzgalov 19-10-5 (27-26).
First Period—1, Montreal, Desharnais 10 (Bourque, Pacioretty), 4:11. 2, Montreal, Kostitsyn 12 (Weber, Leblanc), 9:23. 3, N.J., Parise 17 (Zubrus, Kovalchuk), 10:36. Penalties—Cole, Mon (roughing), 12:49; Carter, NJ (roughing), 15:37; Elias, NJ (boarding), 18:54.
Second Period—4, Montreal, Darche 3 (Plekanec), 1:35 (sh). 5, N.J., Clarkson 18 (Kovalchuk, Fayne), 13:43 (pp). Penalties—Diaz, Mon (interference), 1:07; Cole, Mon (high-sticking), 13:18; Diaz, Mon (tripping), 14:17.
Third Period—6, N.J., Zubrus 13 (Ponikarovsky, Clarkson), 6:11. 7, N.J., Parise 18 (Kovalchuk, Elias), 17:16. 8, N.J., Clarkson 19 (Ponikarovsky, Zubrus), 19:28 (en). Penalties—Clarkson, NJ (interference), 8:45. Shots on Goal—Montreal 11-10-9—30. N.J. 5-9-8—22. Power-play opportunities—Montreal 0 of 3; N.J. 1 of 4. Goalies—Montreal, Price 17-19-8 (21 shots-17 saves). N.J., Brodeur 16-12-2 (30-27).
First Period—1, Minn., Zanon 2 (Heatley, Brodziak), 6:04. Penalties—Quincey, Col (interference), 7:58.
Second Period—None. Penalties—Powe, Min (roughing, interference), 4:48; Kobasew, Col, double minor (roughing), 4:48; Stoner, Min, major (fighting), 7:04; McLeod, Col, major (fighting), 7:04; McMillan, Min, major (fighting), 11:03; Kobasew, Col, major (fighting), 11:03.
Third Period—None. Penalties—Falk, Min (interference), 18:40. Shots on Goal—Minn. 3-11-7—21. Colo. 10-10-17—37. Power-play opportunities—Minn. 0 of 1; Colo. 0 of 1. Goalies—Minn., Backstrom 14-12-4 (37 shots-37 saves). Colo., Giguere 12-9-1 (21-20).