Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 4/6/12

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 15: Ryane Clowe #29 of the San Jose Sharks skates up the a face off during the NHL game against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on December 15, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. The Sharks defeated the Kings 3-2 in overtime shootout. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Sharks and Kings are embroiled in a heated division race that’s going to come down to a photo finish when the regular season wraps up this weekend. At stake is not just the Pacific Division crown, but also a third-seed and home ice in the first round of the playoffs, while the division’s other playoff teams will place no higher than seventh, a caveat of a down year in the Pacific.

That’s why Thursday’s back-and-fourth 6-5 shootout win by the Sharks in L.A. had a playoff atmosphere and that’s why Sharks forward Ryane Clowe felt compelled to blatantly cheat in the late stages of the game. With less than five minutes left in regulation and the score still tied, the Kings’ Jarrett Stoll was leading an odd-man rush with the puck along the sideboards when Clowe, sitting on the Sharks’ bench, poked his stick out and knocked the puck loose from Stoll’s control. Stoll and other Kings players were immediately incensed but none of the officials’ whistles blew as San Jose gained possession.

After the game, Clowe was asked about the incident and suddenly had a fit amnesia. “I have no idea what you guys are talking about,” Clowe said, per the San Jose Mercury News. “I’ll have to see the video or something. Someone show me the video.”

So the Sharks get away with one and ended up winning in the shootout. They’re now tied atop the division at 94 points with the Kings, who have the tiebreaker. The Coyotes, who have two games to play and are a point back, are also in the mix and can sneak through and win the division crown, too. The Sharks and Kings meet up again in San Jose on Saturday for the regular season finale, so any plans for a Ryane Clowe parade might be just a tad premature.

Video via Puck Daddy

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