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Referee Mark Shewchyk, centre, looks for the puck in Chicago Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi's equipment as referee Kelly Sutherland, right, and the Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews wait for developments. Toews finally found the missing disc. ((Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press) )

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Antti Niemi caused one of the more unusual delays of game in recent NHL play on Saturday when a puck went into his equipment and promptly disappeared.

The Hawks backstop made a save on a Nashville shot late in the first period of Game 5 in their best-of-seven series before standing up to shake the rubber disc back out.

No disc.

Two referees gingerly probed around the goalie's equipment to no avail as the players stood waiting.

Finally, they decided to get another puck and keep going, only to be brought up short by a call from the league office in Toronto ordering the officials to find the original before continuing.

Niemi's teammate Jonathan Toews eventually found the puck stuck in the padding of his goaltender's chest protector.