When a goaltender gets caught way outside his crease, he’s basically helpless to defend his goal. Desperate times call for desperate measures… like throwing your goal stick.

Unfortunately, that one’s against the rules.

Goaltender Darcy Kuemper headed out to play the puck along the boards as Minnesota’s power play expired. Stars defenseman Jordie Benn, fresh out of the penalty box, came racing down the wing to pick up the loose puck. Kuemper was caught. He lost the puck and looked back at his vacated crease. Desperate, he threw his goal stick.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper throws stick to prevent goal by Jordie Benn

Minnesota Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper throws stick to prevent goal by Stars’ Jordie Benn

The stick may have helped slow down Jordie Benn, but it was defenseman Jonas Brodin who broke up the scoring attempt. Kuemper’s stick toss, though, gave Benn another kick at the can. The NHL spells it out pretty clearly in Rule 53.6: Throwing Equipment – Penalty Shot:

If a player on a breakaway in the neutral or attacking zone is interfered with by a stick or any other object or piece of equipment that is thrown by any member of the defending team, including the Coach or any non-playing Club person, a penalty shot shall be awarded to the non-offending team.

A simple shot fake and forehand deke by Benn made it past the Wild netminder to put the Stars up 4-0.

The penalty shot was the highlight – at least for Dallas – but penalties were the story of the game.

The Wild owned the penalty box, piling up 11 penalties to the Stars six. For a league with home team bias — only 48.3% of penalties are called against home teams — the breakdown leaned heavily in the home club’s favor. The Stars took advantage, going 2-for-7 with the man advantage and tacking on Benn’s penalty shot goal, above. Their lone 5-on-5 goal was even set up by a power play, with the Stars maintaining pressure in the Wild end, scoring just 24 seconds after Torrey Mitchell’s high-sticking penalty expired.