Maybe I'm wrong but doesn't the puck have to be in the zone actually? It has to completely exit the zone, past the blue line to come out, so isn't it the same going in? I've played hockey my whole life but that's not one I can answer for some reason. It escapes me.
Yeah since he's coming from the neutral zone the whole blueline is part of that zone as opposed to the offensive zone, meaning the puck has to go completely past the blueline before Dats enters the zone. So the play is actually offside.
But in reality, it was a bang-bang play and a split-second decision for the linesman. If not for people watching the play with modern technology in slow-motion and freeze-framing no one would even be discussing it. Also you could easily make an argument for the play falling under the exception that he had the puck under control, in which case it's okay for the puck to enter the zone after the player.
There were no complaints from Kings players or coaches, the fact that the puck entered the zone a millisecond after Pavel had no impact on how he split the D and scored on Quick. Beauty play no matter what. NHL linesmen get it right 99 times out of a 100 and the ones they get wrong usually even out over a season, you win some you lose some. In plays like this where it's extremely close and difficult to call on the ice I prefer that they let it go as opposed to breaking up the play.