The game between the New Jersey Devils and Tampa Bay Lightning at the Prudential Center on Friday night was postponed by the NHL midway through the second period when a bank of lights behind the Devils' goal went out and could not be restored.
The malfunction occurred at about 8:18 p.m. ET, with 9:12 left in the second period -- just 44 seconds after Lightning forward Steven Stamkos
had scored to give given the Bolts a 3-0 lead. After a delay of nearly two hours, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman decided to postpone the game.
The game will be rescheduled at a later date, and NHL spokesman Frank Brown said play will be resumed from the point at which the game was suspended. Both teams are scheduled to play Saturday -- New Jersey visits Montreal and Tampa Bay plays at Philadelphia.
Approximately 10 minutes after the problem occurred, it was announced that the teams would return to their dressing rooms while an attempt was made to fix the lighting problem. Several efforts were unsuccessful, and the announcement of the postponement came at about 10:07 p.m. ET.
The Lightning opened a 1-0 lead 6:58 into the first when forward Steve Downie tipped in a blast from the point by Kurtis Foster under the outstretched glove of Devils goalie Martin Brodeur. The power-play goal was only the sixth for the Lightning with the man advantage over their last 46 opportunities.
Brandon Bochenski, who was recalled from Norfolk on Saturday, scored his first goal of the season and second against the Devils in four career games at 5:03 of the second to give Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead.
NHL PRESS RELEASE
TAMPA BAY-NEW JERSEY GAME POSTPONED NEW YORK (January 8, 2010)
Contest Will Be Resumed From Point Of Postponement On Date To Be Determined
– National Hockey League Game #655 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center in Newark, N. J. tonight was postponed, until a date to be determined, due to the failure of a bank of arena lights.
Play was stopped when the bank of lights failed with 9:12 remaining in the second period and Tampa Bay leading, 3-0. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, after consultation with the NHL Hockey Operations Department and the respective Clubs, postponed the remainder of play due to concerns for the safety of the players and officials.
“We felt the teams could not continue playing,” said Colin Campbell, the League’s Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations. “We tried for an hour and 52 minutes to restore power and appropriate lighting but were left with no alternative but to postpone further play for the evening.”
As the teams do not have future games scheduled against each other, a new date for the completion of the contest will have to be determined. Play will be resumed from the point at which play was stopped.