WASHINGTON, D.C. — The last 9.5 seconds of the Washington Capitals' Game 4 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night actually took 14.8 seconds.
Patrice Bergeron and Brooks Laich came set for a faceoff with the clock reading 9.5 seconds left in the third period. The puck was dropped, the Capitals won the draw, the puck went to the corner, then to the right point and then over to the left point for a shot by Johnny Boychuk.
During that entire sequence, the clock didn't move.
Why? Mike Murphy, NHL senior vice president of hockey operations, released a statement after the game explaining the huge snafu:
"With 9.5 seconds remaining in the third period, there was a stoppage and resulting face-off in the Washington zone. During the stoppage, the game clock operator and Series Manager determined that 0.9 seconds should have been added to the time remaining in the third period and attempted to contact the on-ice officials to delay the puck drop to accommodate making the necessary clock adjustment to 10.4 seconds remaining.
"The off-ice officials were not able to attract the attention of the referees or linesmen despite sounding the horn, which was not audible due to crowd noise, and the puck was dropped.
"The NHL Situation Room in Toronto immediately was aware that the clock had not started for 5.3 seconds after the face-off and, therefore, would have disallowed a goal scored with 5.3 seconds or less showing on the clock."
So there you go. Sadly, no mention of "electrical charges called coulombs" like we had during the Great Clock [Expletive] Up of Los Angeles, but an explanation nonetheless.
But hoo-boy, if the Bruins had scored there ... what a mess.