GM Dean Lombardi of the Los Angeles Kings has answered: Neither one, actually.
From the Los Angeles Times, here's the explanation Lombardi emailed out:
"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. 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."
Although the clock didn't last night, Lombardi's response syncs up with that of PD reader Christian Turner:
"The clock stoppage is actually common, just not always in the last seconds of a game leading to a GWG in that final second. It is the clock's display syncing with the internal clock/computer."
So there you go.
Also, regarding the idea — OK, our idea — that the last few seconds and the eventual overtime should be replayed on March 8 before the Kings/Blue Jackets game, a devil's advocate response we were given: Would the teams be required to dress the game teams that played last night? Do trade deadline acquisitions sit? Do trade deadline departures come back?
Valid points that nonetheless ruin our fun.