NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the controversial ending to Wednesday night's game between the Los Angeles Kings and Columbus Blue Jackets during his weekly radio show Thursday night.
Drew Doughty scored a power-play goal with :00.4 seconds remaining to give the Kings a 3-2 victory against the Blue Jackets on Wednesday night. While video replay showed the puck crossed the goal line before time expired, television replays indicated that the game clock stopped briefly with 1.8 seconds remaining before starting again.
"Not good, not acceptable -- if [the clock] had run straight through, the game would have been at a tie at that point, would have gone to overtime," Bettman said. "And maybe L.A. would have won anyway, maybe not. That's not the point. We are taking this very seriously. We're investigating as to how it happened. Obviously it's either human error or a technology glitch. We don't know which, but we've already begun investigating and we will get to the bottom of it.
"Now I know lots of people are going to say, 'How can you have a mistake?' Well, unfortunately or fortunately, our game is full of mistakes -- by players, by coaches and occasionally by officials -- and on some levels it's no different than if a guy makes a bad penalty call, puts a team on the power play and they score the winning goal. It happens. We don't like when it happens and our job is to minimize mistakes. We don't want any, but obviously when you have a human element in any aspect of the game you're going to have it.
"If we had any reason to believe that this was intentional we would deal with it in a whole different way, but we're going to investigate it, get to the bottom of it."
Bettman added the League's IT department is in the process of having specially manufactured high-definition cameras installed in the nets prior to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and he's asked about a possible "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."
It's hard to walk into that locker room and look those guys in the eye when they've played -- clearly, that was our best game we've played in the series -- and I thought we deserved a better fate tonight.
— Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper on his team's 3-2 loss to the Canadiens in Game 3 on Sunday