Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 4/6/12

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 31: Jarret Stoll #28 of the Los Angeles Kings skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on January 31, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. The Kings defeated the Devils 3-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES Controversy enveloped one of the mostexciting hockey games of the season Thursday night by virtue of a bizarre playthat had long-tenured hockey figures scratching their heads, trying to recallthe last time they had seen something similar. The San Jose Sharks went into Staples Center and defeated the Los Angeles Kings6-5 in a shootout in a game that featured 10 goals in regulation, seven power-playgoals, 67 shots and six fighting majors. But those were nothing compared towhat unfolded, with the game tied and perhaps the fortunes of both teamsplayoff lives skating up the right side of the ice, as the game was coming to aclose. With 2:45 remaining and the score tied at 5-5, the Kings Jarret Stoll wasleading a power-play rush up the ice, looking for the goal that would move theKings one step closer to the Pacific Division crown. As Stoll skated by the SanJose bench on his way into the Sharks zone, San Jose forward Ryane Clowedeliberately reached onto the ice and poked the puck away from Stolls stick,then sat back down onto the bench. The play killed the rush, sent the selloutcrowd into a frenzy, and had the Kings literally up in arms. Stoll immediately shot his arm up. Dustin Brown pointed over to the San Josebench. Drew Doughty slammed his stick on the ice. The only people among astanding-room only crowd of 18,330 who didn't see the infraction were the fourofficials on the ice which is bizarre, considering the incident occurredwhile the puck was on a player's stick. Any of the four officials on the ice would have been eligible to make thepenalty call. "I'm not sure how all four of them missed it," Brown said. "Idon't know. I don't know what to tell you. They missed it and none of them saidthey saw it. I thought it was pretty evident, but when you're in the gamesometimes you aren't going to see everything. It is what it is." After the game, back in the Sharks dressing room, reaction to the play wasquite different. "I have no idea what you guys are talking about," Clowe deadpanned."I'll have to see the video or something." Of course, this happened in game No. 81 of the season, between two teams thatentered the night separated by one point in a three-way battle for the PacificDivision title and left it tied at 94 points. Game No. 82 is a conclusion ofthe home-and-home series Saturday night in San Jose. The Phoenix Coyotes, onepoint behind Los Angeles and San Jose with 93 points, can steal the divisionwith a game in hand, playing in St. Louis on Friday and closing out at Minnesotaon Saturday. The Coyotes, Kings and Sharks all clinched playoff berthsfollowing losses by Dallas and Colorado earlier Thursday. But while the teams wait to face off again on Saturday, talk Friday will likelycenter on Clowes stickhandling a surreal sports moment that conjured upvisions of other bizarre moments from the bench, perhaps the most bizarre sinceNew Jersey Devils coach Robbie Ftorek (a former Kings coach) threw wait forit thebench onto the ice in a game in 2000. "I saw a coach lose his glasses on the ice, and he reached over and brokehis glasses," Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter said after the game, lighteningthe moment in a postgame press conference. "But I don't think I've seenthat one." Sutter expounded when asked what his thoughts of the play were. "What do you think my thoughts are? You can't call too many men onit," Sutter said. "What can you call, too many sticks?" Do hockey players believe in karma? This is the same Kings team that benefittedfrom a stutter in the Staples Center clock that allowed Doughty an extra half-secondto blast a third-period, buzzer-beating shot past Columbus goalie CurtisSanford in a controversial 3-2 Kings win on Feb. 1. Clockgate has been replaced by Clowegate. The Kings still had an opportunity to win in regulation on the power play, and againin the shootout. But Mike Richards, Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar were stymiedby Antti Niemi. While the game will be forever remembered for the peculiarstick incident, it was special teams that dictated the success in this game. "We can't sit there and dwell on it," Brown said. "We had plentyof opportunities on the power play. Our power play came up big. The PKwasn't the strongest part of our game." San Jose coach Todd McLellan is now looking for an even keel response from hisplayers following such an emotional victory. "We're not going to get too high and we don't get too low. We'llrest tomorrow and then we know we've got another big game to play,"McLellan said. "I'm glad that game will really mean something because itwill set us up and, I'm sure, LA up for a good playoff run."
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