No Penalty for Sharks' Ryan Clowe's "Bench Assist"

Bench assist from Sharks player boosts Teal past Kings.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Matt Greene #2 of the Los Angeles Kings and Ryan Clowe #29 of the San Jose Sharks fight in the first period during the NHL game at Staples Center on April 5. Following his two fights, Clowe got into the game while sitting on the bench.

    It's the Ryane Clowe super hat-trick: a goal, an assist, a fight -- and deflecting the puck away from the other team while sitting on the bench.

    The San Jose Sharks' forward was active throughout the Sharks' thrilling 6-5 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, and became actively controversial late in the third period.

    While sitting on the bench, Clowe stuck his stick over the perimeter of the rink and onto the ice to knock away the puck from the Kings' Jarret Stoll, according to reports. Stoll was rushing up the ice with the game tied in the third period, and the knockaway was not seen by the refs, nor called for a whistle later.

    Both the Kings and the packed Staples Center reacted with predictable outrage.

    "It's like running on a football field and hitting someone during play," said Kings defenseman Drew Doughty,  who added that Clowe should be suspended. "I don't see why it's any different than that."

    The NHL rulebook disagrees, saying that Clowe would have received a 2-minute penalty had he been caught. Which would have made him mighty unpopular with his teammates, but hardly a pariah.

    That is, if he ever remembers the incident.  "I have no idea what you guys are talking about," Clowe said to reporters. "I'll have to see the video or something. Someone show me the video."

    Maybe the Kings will show him on Saturday when the two teams meet for the regular season finale.