The chance for reward when pulling the goaltender on a delayed penalty call generally outweighs the minimal risk of shooting the puck into your own net without the opposition touching it at all.
But the Chicago Blackhawks’ Antti Raanta might think twice about leaving his crease for an extra attacker the next time he sees his teammates with possession and the referee’s arm jolt into the air.
After Edmonton Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk was caught for a slash, Raanta left his cage as play carried on.
Boosted by an extra skater, Chicago controlled the play in the Oilers’ zone… until Patrick Kane mistakenly bounced a pass off the boards to a vacant right point and the puck traveled the length of the rink and into the gaping Blackhawks net, tying the game at two. Giving chase, Oilers forward Mark Arcobello was wise not to touch the puck, lest play be whistled dead.
“It picked up speed and just kept going,” Kane said afterward. “Kind of a weird play, I guess.”
The Oilers’ Boyd Gordon — who was not even on the ice by the time the puck crossed the goal line — was credited with an unassisted fluke short-handed goal, and an awkward celebration was conducted by the Edmonton players. Kane did not skate by the Edmonton bench to give out the customary domino-effect knuckle bumps.
Luckily for Kane, his team stormed back to defeat Edmonton 5-3; his pair of assists helped snap the team’s losing skid at three and saved the star further embarrassment.