Most hockey fans -- even the diehards -- are likely unfamiliar with Rule 25.4.
According to the NHL rulebook, section 25.4 indicates that, during a penalty shot, "a goal will be awarded when a goalkeeper attempts to stop a penalty shot by throwing his stick or any other object at the player taking the shot or by dislodging the goal (either deliberately or accidentally)."
The bylaw came into play Sunday when Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin skated toward Blueshirts netminder Alexander Georgiev in the fourth round of a shootout in a 2-2 game. Georgiev tossed his stick at Washington's captain, knocking the puck away and leading to a whistle. After the officials reviewed it, the Capitals were rewarded with a goal and, subsequently, a victory.
"It's tough to explain [what happened], but he faked the shot, I went down early, and as he was moving laterally, I kind of threw my leg and the stick at the same time," Georgiev said following the game. "It's a tough call."
If the same play were to take place during regulation, the result would be a penalty shot.
But since this instance occurred in a shootout, the officials made the correct call and properly invoked Rule 25.4.