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NHL investigating scoreboard error in Kings' victory

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TSN.ca Staff with Canadian Press files
2/2/2012 10:42:42 PM
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The National Hockey League is looking into a scoreboard error at the Staples Center on Wednesday night that gave the Los Angeles Kings a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"We're looking at it from all aspects," NHL executive vice-president Colin Campbell told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun on Thursday. "We're sending two people out there. Is it possible for the clock to stop like that? We're going to look at everything."

Kings blueliner Drew Doughty scored the winning goal with less than a second to play in regulation to secure the win. But when the Blue Jackets looked at video after the game, they saw that the clock froze for about a second before the goal - meaning time should have expired.

Campbell also confirmed that regardless of the league's findings, the result of the game can't be changed. "No you can't," he told TSN. "Once the game is over, it's over."

Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson explained in his team blog on Thursday morning that the incident could have an 'enormous impact' on the standings.

"It's easy to say that this doesn't matter," he wrote. "We, the Blue Jackets, are in last place and it is likely not going to affect our place in the standings. However, in my opinion, this matters in many respects. It matters to our players, to our coaches, every person in our organization and our fans."

Later on Thursday, the blog was removed from the team's website.

"It's obviously very frustrating and very disappointing for our players...to have something so weird like this happen where you see the clock actually stop for a second is really beyond belief" Howson told TSN's Gino Reda on Thursday's edition of That's Hockey.

Howson stated that if the incident was an accident, someone would have stepped up said that they made a mistake, but since that has not occurred, the Jackets' GM was left with two choices.

"I think it's either someone deliberately did it, or the clock malfunctioned."

The Kings are seventh in the Western Conference - five points up on eighth-place Minnesota and six points ahead of Dallas and Calgary.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman weighed in on the issue during his show on XM radio on Thursday.

Bettman stated that the league is already in the process of adding special high-definition cameras installed in the nets prior to the Playoffs, and he's asked as part of the installation if there could be a "software upgrade or application where if a clock isn't moving the way it's supposed to, it'll set off alarms in the Situation Room in Toronto, so that we can at least know."

"Those clocks are sophisticated instruments that calculate time by measuring electrical charges called coulombs," explained Kings general manager Dean Lombardi in an email to TSN.  "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 devise quite frankly."

The Calgary Flames - another team trying to make its mark down the stretch - said there's little the league could do to correct such a mistake.

"It is our understanding the NHL is already investigating this matter," said general manager Jay Feaster in a team statement. "Moreover, as Colin Campbell was quoted as saying, once the game is over it is over. There is nothing the NHL is going to do, or can do, to correct the situation if, indeed, there was a mistake made in that game.  Rather than crying over what happened in a game in which we did not take part, our time and energies are devoted to our own team and doing everything we can to win the games we play and in so doing qualify for the post-season. We sincerely believe that is a much better and more efficient use of our time and effort."

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