Devils/Lightning Game Suspended in Second Period after Lighting Malfunction

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Certainly one of the odder occurrences in the 2009-10 season (and it's been an odd one so far folks). In the middle of the second period, with the Tampa Bay Lightning leading the New Jersey Devils 3-0, the lights went out. Nearly 2 hours later, Gary Bettman officially postponed the game.

No explanation was offered to the fans in the arena for most of the period, while teams were working to fix the lights, or at least compensate for the darkness.

No word on when the game will be completed, but the Devils have to travel to Montreal (where the lights are certain to work, trust me) for a game at the Bell Centre tomorrow night. After a long delay, it could affect their game against the Canadiens.

The Devils home arena, the Prudential Center, is barely 2 years old.

More to come as details are made available, but here is a detailed breakdown of the events posted on

Lights go out during second period of NJ Devils- Tampa Bay Lightning game; game suspended

by Rich Chere/The Star-Ledger

It was an ominous start to the second half of the Devils' season.

At 8:18 p.m., with 9:12 remaining in the second period of the Devils-Tampa Bay Lightning game, many of the Prudential Center's lights went out leaving the ice surface in partial darkness. The Lightning were leading the Devils, 3-0, at that point of the match.

After a delay of eight minutes, the on-ice officials sent the two teams back to their dressing rooms with the hope of coming back to finish the period. Finally, at 10:04 p.m., after a delay of one hour and 46 minutes, the game was suspended.

Mike Murphy, NHL vice-president of hockey operations, said Plan A was to get the lights back on and resume the game. He also indicated Plan B was a decision by commissioner Gary Bettman, who must have made the ruling just after 10 p.m.

"The lights won't come on and they think there is a risk to the players," Murphy said via telephone from Toronto. "They are exploring other options."

Murphy said playing in the Devils' practice rink, which has lights but little seating for fans and no press box, was not an option.
At 10 p.m. the nets were removed, as well as sticks from both benches, which indicated the game was not going to be completed.
The delay was 30 minutes old when Lightning GM Brian Lawton left the press box and headed downstairs.

After 40 minutes most of the lights were still off and no official word on what was happening. Many of the fans in attendance remained in the arena, but there were no announcements and the paying customers were literally left in the dark.

At approximately 9:05 p.m., the two Zambonis came out and resurfaced the ice.

The Devils were scheduled to fly to Montreal after the game. They face the Canadiens Saturday night at the Bell Centre. The longer the delay, the later the team would arrive in Montreal, which means the delay night have an impact on two games for the Devils.

At 9:16 p.m., Devils coach Jacques Lemaire appeared from the dressing room runway near the bench. He viewed the darkened arena and went back to the dressing room. At that point there was still no word from the team's public relations staff or general manager Lou Lamoriello.

Several Devils players began to walk out to the bench area for a look at 9:18 p.m.

Arena technicians appeared to be trying to use spotlights in the upper catwalks to light the ice surface enough to complete the game.
The advertising ribbon boards which circle the ice were turned into white light, as was the scoreboard video screen, in an effort to get as much light as possible. However, it was still darker at the Edison Street end of the ice than at the Lafayette Street end.

Referees Tim Peel and Steve Kozari appeared on the ice at 9:37 p.m. and spoke to Lightning coach Rick Tocchet at the visitors' bench. Lamoriello, Lemaire and Lawton were on the home bench discussing the situation with both referees.

At 9:41 p.m., Lamoriello, Lawton, Lemaire and the refs left the bench area and returned to the dressing room. At 9:48 p.m., the delay was an hour and a half long.

After one hour and 42-minute delay, fans began booing.

During Game 4 of the 1988 Stanley Cup finals between the Bruins and Oilers, the power went out in Boston Garden. The game was tied, 3-3, in the second period when the lights went out and left everyone in darkness.

Then-NHL president John Ziegler had the game moved to Edmonton. The Oilers were leading the best-of-seven series, 3-0.

More to come


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