The Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning changed ends at the first whistle after the 10:00 mark of the first period to accommodate an issue with the ice in the visitors goal crease at Tampa Bay Times Forum on Thursday.
The NHL said the decision was reached during a conversation between the on-ice officials and the coach and general manager of each team.
The teams switched again in the second and third periods.
Washington led 2-1 when the first switch was made after Mikhail Grabovski scored for the Capitals at 10:37.
For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.
— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on clinching a playoff berth after a win against the Islanders on Saturday