The NHL will end the outdoor game between the Colorado Avalanche and the Vegas Golden Knights at 9 p.m. local time (midnight ET) after it was halted after the first period due to deteriorating ice conditions.
The puck fell at 12:12 PST, under an intense sunshine that melted the snow around the rink and caused ice problems. The Avalanche led 1-0 against the Golden Knights after the first period through a goal by defenseman Samuel Girard. The teams went to their locker rooms and stayed there until NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the game would end later on Saturday.
“We knew the relentless sun was a problem,” Bettman said on NBC, which broadcasts the end of the game on NBCSN. “After consulting with our icebreakers and both teams, we did not feel it was safe or appropriate to continue play at this stage. Some players wanted to keep playing. Others were more concerned. I thought it wiser to end the game now.
Foul. specified.Colorado goaltender Phillip Grubauer waits while the ice team works to restore the ice during the first period of Saturday’s outdoor game in Lake Tahoe. The game is expected to resume later Saturday night at the start of the second period. Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images
Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog said his team was ready to return, but was rejected by league officials. “It will probably be a good decision tonight,” he said.
The Skateway was built on the shore of Lake Tahoe on the 18th hole of the Edgewood Tahoe Resort golf course. The NHL had installed temporary lighting on cranes around the Skateway, and Bettman was confident that the league had sufficient lighting for a night game.
Saturday morning, the NHL decided to change Sunday’s outdoor game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins from 11 p.m. to 11. PT/2 p.m. and kickoff is at 4:30 p.m. PT/19:30 ET if another sunny day is expected.
Originally, the NHL had moved the game up an hour due to concerns about the weekday sun.
This caused a domino effect in programming. The game between New Jersey Devils and Washington Capitals has been moved from 7:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. to fill the void created by the change in the outdoor game schedule. The Bruins vs Flyers game has been moved to NBCSN.
“It was the hardest weather we’ve ever had…. And it’s a beautiful day,” Bettman said. “There’s clouds everywhere, but there’s the sun.”
The first sign of trouble came when the Flyers and Bruins held an outdoor practice Saturday morning and set up at the rink in South Lake Tahoe. Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said the decision was made to maintain the quality of the ice because it was in poor condition after two practices on Friday.
Under a bright sun, the players and officials seemed to be over the moon in the first half. The snow that covered the golf course at the ice rink melted significantly during the morning, while 2 to 5 inches of snow fell overnight in South Lake Tahoe.
The NHL announced contingency plans before the game in case of “bad weather.” Among them: that the game would be considered “official” after two periods and that the team in the lead at the time of the stoppage would be declared the winner.
If the game is tied after two periods, each team will receive one point in the standings and the winner will be determined by a shootout. This shootout must take place immediately after play is stopped at the ice rink in Lake Tahoe; or, if conditions do not permit, at Ball Arena in Denver on February 22, prior to the regular game between the Golden Knights and the Avalanche.
Frequently asked questions
Why has the Lake Tahoe race been postponed?
The outdoor game between the Colorado Avalanche and the Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL ended late Saturday night after a break of more than eight hours after the first period due to deteriorating ice conditions.
Why was today’s Golden Knights game postponed?
A third of the way through the game between the Colorado Avalanche and the Vegas Golden Knights in Lake Tahoe, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman came to the NBC broadcast to announce that the game had been postponed until Saturday at midnight (Eastern)/21:00 due to unsafe ice conditions. PT.
Why did the NHL postpone the outdoor game?
Unfortunately for the NHL, this sunshine proved to be a problem. The glare from the rays deteriorated the ice conditions to the point that the league deemed them dangerous. Players and referees slipped while skating and the game was postponed until the evening.
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