The NHL is investigating a suspicious circumstance from Wednesday night’s last-second victory by the Los Angeles Kings over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
With the game tied 2-2 and the home Kings on the power play, the clock froze at 1.8 seconds and remained stopped for more than a second.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty’s game-winner crossed the goal line with 0.4 on the clock.
Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson immediately contacted the NHL after the game to address the fishy situation.
"I spoke with (NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations) Colin Campbell on two occasions after the game," Howson said in a statement. "Colin has promised me that the NHL will investigate this to try and figure out how this happened."
Describing it as an "amazing coincidence," Howson said Campbell confirmed the official game clock at the Staples Center incorrectly stopped at 1.8, not just the clock shown on television.
Nevertheless, Campbell told ESPN Thursday the result of the game will stand. Campbell admitted the goal should have been waved off, saying the league’s probe will seek to identify why the stoppage occurred.
The Kings, however, offered their own explanation Thursday, stating that the clock stoppage was not actually a malfunction, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"Those clocks are sophisticated instruments that calculate time by measuring electrical charges called coulombs — given the rapidity and volume of electrons that move through the measuring device the calibrator must adjust at certain points which was the delay you see," said Kings general manager Dean Lombardi.
"The delay is just recalibrating for the clock moving too quickly during the 10–10ths of a second before the delay. This insures that the actual playing time during a period is exactly 20 minutes.
"That is not an opinion — that is science — amazing device quite frankly."
At 13-32-6, Columbus is at the bottom of the NHL by 11 points.
But the extra two points were significant to the Western Conference playoff race, since the Kings are in seventh place, now five points clear of Minnesota and six points up on Dallas and Colorado.