NEWARK, N.J. – The Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils aren’t going to have to wait very long to finish their suspended game.
The NHL announced Saturday that the teams will play the final period and a half at the Prudential Center, starting at 6 p.m. on Sunday.
The game was suspended on Friday night with 9:12 left in the second period when a lighting problem on one side of the arena could not be fixed.
“I don’t think any of the alternatives were any better than the final alternative, which was to play immediately because of the schedules going forward,” New Jersey president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said before the Devils’ game at Montreal on Saturday night.
The teams waited almost two hours before the league suspended the game for safety concerns with the Lightning leading 3-0. The players left the ice roughly 10 minutes after the lights dimmed, although a couple of Lightning players came back and sat on the bench during the delay to see what was happening.
The game will resume at the point play was stopped.
The lighting was fully restored at roughly 1 a.m., almost five hours after the lights dimmed in the Devils’ defensive zone.
The decision to finish the game Sunday means the players will compete on three straight days. The Devils faced the Canadiens, and the Lightning were in Philadelphia to play the Flyers on Saturday night.
“I’m not sure how it went down but I’m sure somebody somewhere had to waive something – I don’t know who,” said Martin Brodeur, who allowed three goals on seven shots Friday. “It’s only half a game, might as well get it over with.”
Lamoriello said a circuit breaker at the 3-year-old arena went down and it resulted in a problem with the computer that controls the lights.
“We could not get the computer to work with the circuit breaker, and PSE&G determined that they would not be able to fix it (Friday),” Lamoriello said.
PSE&G spokeswoman Denise Denk said Saturday that the problem was with the building, and the utility was asked to provide assistance in fixing it. She said that PSE&G was not responsible for the circuit breaker.
The Devils said fans can use their ticket stubs from Friday to attend the finish of the game.
The last time an NHL game was postponed was on Nov. 22, 2005, when Detroit defenceman Jiri Fischer had a seizure on the bench in the first period of a game against the Nashville Predators. Doctors had to perform CPR on Fischer.
Steve Downie, Brandon Bochenski and Steven Stamkos scored for Tampa Bay, which is trying to snap a 10-game losing streak against New Jersey.