Sergei Gonchar Doesn't Score, Takes A Penalty, Then Scores All In One Play

You're about to witness one really weird occurrence.  In Saturday night's game between Toronto and Pittsburgh, the Penguins had a power play in the second period. Defenseman Sergei Gonchar blasted a shot from the point that hit the post, bouncing out and finding its way to center ice. There, Leafs' forward Alexei Ponikarovsky found the loose puck and started out on a breakaway toward the Pittsburgh goal.

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The trailing Gonchar caught up with Ponikarovsky and hauled him down from behind. The officials awarded Toronto a penalty shot on the play, but uh, not so fast. After review, they realized that Gonchar's initial shot down the other way didn't just hit the post. It grazed the left post and hit the back support before bouncing out. That's a goal, and by NHL rule only one goal can be awarded on a stoppage of play.

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Here's the real twist, though. Since only one goal can be awarded at any one stoppage of play, the penalty shot was canceled because if Ponikarovsky had scored on it, it wouldn't have been allowed. It would make sense that the penalty would be voided as well since Gonchar's goal should have been the end of the play, but he still wound up in the penalty box. Huh? NHL Rule #78.6, please.

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Any penalties signaled during the period of time between the apparent goal and the next stoppage of play shall be assessed in the normal manner, except when a minor penalty is to be assessed to the team scored upon, and is therefore nullified by the scoring of the goal.

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There you have it. Sergei Gonchar scored a goal and took a penalty on the same play. To make it worse for Toronto, they couldn't score on the ensuing power play and as soon as Gonchar stepped out of the box, he picked up a pass from Evgeni Malkin and scored again. The Pens won 4-1.

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