LOS ANGELES—Of all the new rules this season, the one Blackhawks coach Trent Yawney has railed against the most is the automatic delay-of-game penalty for shooting the puck into the crowd in the defensive zone.
Twice in the last three minutes Saturday, the delay penalty was called--once on the Los Angeles Kings and once on the Hawks. The Kings, in what is becoming a rarity for them, killed off their penalty.
The Hawks weren't so fortunate and it ended up costing them a point.
Joe Corvo's goal 40 seconds into overtime, with Matthew Barnaby in the penalty box, gave the Kings a come-from-in-front 5-4 victory and a vital two points in their battle to stay in the Western Conference playoff hunt.
The Hawks scored in the third period on goals from Tyler Arnason and Martin Lapointe to force overtime.
On the surface, the automatic penalty seems like a no-brainer. Yawney thinks, however, that referees should determine whether a player shot the puck into the stands deliberately -- which they rarely, if ever, do -- or as a result of bad ice conditions, which Yawney said was the case Saturday at the Staples Center.
"That was the worst sheet of ice I've ever seen," Yawney said. "It's not acceptable."
Of course, many would argue that giving referees more discretion is how the NHL got into a state in which it had to alter its rules drastically in the first place.
Yawney did concede the Hawks had their own opportunity to score when the Kings' Sean Avery went off for the same penalty at 16:59 of the third.
"We had our chance," Yawney said. "We had a gift too."
On the Hawks' first power play of the game, they gave up a short-handed goal for the 10th time this season. Pavol Demitra opened the scoring at 8:44 of the first period.
But 19 seconds later, still on the power play, Brent Seabrook sent a knuckleball past Jason LaBarbara for a 1-1 tie. That was an indication of the kind of day it would be for the Kings goaltender, who was yanked after giving up a shot by Lapointe that went through his pads and tied the game in the third period.
Arnason's goal was the Hawks' second on a power play, the first time they had had two in 11 games and just the eighth time this season they have had multiple power-play goals. It was also the 23rd power-play goal the Kings had allowed in their last 10 games, one reason they are 2-5-3 in that stretch.
The Kings are fourth in the West in goals scored and found a way despite another solid game from Craig Anderson, who made many point-blank saves in the first period and a brilliant diving stop on Jeremy Roenick at 14:33 of the third.