June 19, 2024

This week, the Penguins inadvertently scored on themselves during the third period against Arizona while awaiting a touch-up for a delayed penalty. It became an instantly memorable and peculiar moment, marked by its weird, embarrassing, and unfortunate nature, depending on the perspective.

However, the situation took a further downturn. Scouting the Refs observed that the referees mishandled the aftermath of the goal. In this unusual circumstance, neither the referees nor the Penguins seemed to know how to appropriately manage the situation.

Pittsburgh found themselves skating shorthanded against the Coyotes when a delayed penalty was called on Arizona. With possession of the puck, the Penguins pulled goaltender Tristan Jarry for an extra skater. Defenseman Kris Letang circled back into his own zone and passed the puck to Evgeni Malkin, who unfortunately misplayed it, resulting in the puck deflecting into the Penguins’ own net.

While the goal counted and was credited to Arizona’s Lawson Crouse as a power play marker, the real issue arose in the aftermath of the play.

Despite the power-play goal being scored, the penalty to Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jansen Harkins should have been immediately terminated. The delayed penalty, called on Coyotes forward Jason Zucker for hooking, was expected to be assessed at the time of the goal, as it was the reason for the stoppage in play. In a straightforward scenario, Harkins’ penalty should have ended.

However, the situation deviated from the norm. Harkins remained in the penalty box. This meant that even though the Coyotes scored a power-play goal, Harkins continued to serve his penalty. Zucker also went to the box, resulting in a 4-on-4 situation for 48 seconds.

Eventually, the Penguins did receive a power play, but it lasted only 1 minute and 12 seconds instead of the full two minutes they were entitled to based on the play’s circumstances.

Referees Peter MacDougall and Michael Markovic, along with the penalty box attendant and timekeeper, all failed to catch the error. Surprisingly, the league did not intervene to correct the mistake, and Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan missed the opportunity to get his player, Jansen Harkins, out of the penalty box. Strangely, Harkins himself appeared unaware that his team had conceded a goal while shorthanded, and he was still serving his penalty.

It seemed that everyone involved mistakenly believed there were five skaters on each team at the time of the whistle, assuming it was even strength, leading to the puck being dropped to resume play without the necessary correction.

Indeed, the confusion and lack of a clear resolution surrounding this moment in NHL history only add to its legend. It’s as if a giant stunned bomb dropped on all the players, coaches, referees, and off-ice officials, leaving them disoriented and unsure of what to do next.

The ignominious own goal put Arizona up 4-2, and considering the Penguins’ struggling power play, it’s arguable that the extra 48 seconds wouldn’t have significantly benefited them. At that point, it seemed like the Penguins were facing an uphill battle regardless of the unfolding events.

While the initial act itself will likely be the focal point of attention, the subsequent confusion and humorous aspects of how everyone involved was thrown out of the loop by such a bizarre event add an intriguing layer to the story. Sometimes, the aftermath of a wildly unfortunate incident can take unexpected and amusing turns in the world of sports.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Arizona Coyotes

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