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Lamoriello: "We tried our darndest"

Friday, 01.08.2010 / 10:39 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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Lamoriello: \"We tried our darndest\"
At right, a view of the darkened end of the arena on Friday.
A lighting problem at Prudential Center forced the postponement of Friday's home game with Tampa Bay. The cause was a failed circuit breaker.

The outage occurred at 8:18 p.m. ET during a play stoppage with 9:12 remaining in the second period. The game was delayed for more than 90 minutes before a public address announcement stated that the contest would be rescheduled for a later date.

Fans that attended the game were advised in a team statement to hold on to their tickets. More information will be provided when available.

"We felt the teams could not continue playing," Colin Campbell, the League's Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations, said in a statement posted on NHL.com. "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."

A date has not yet been set for the game's conclusion. The contest was the series finale between the two clubs. Play will be resumed from the point at which the game was stopped, according to NHL.com.

The Devils trailed 3-0 on goals by Steve Downie, Brandon Bochenski, and Steven Stamkos.

"What happened was a circuit breaker went down," said Devils' President/CEO/GM Lou Lamoriello. "They found which one it was and then they could not get the computer to work with the circuit breaker. PSE&G has been here and they determined a short period of time ago that they will not get this fixed tonight."

Lamoriello said he was in constant contact with the League during the stoppage. Attempts were made to restore the lights, which dimmed above the Devils' zone as the teams prepared for a neutral zone faceoff.

Players skated around the ice for 10-15 minutes to stay loose before a public address announcement said both teams would return to the locker rooms until the issue was resolved. At 9 p.m., Zambonis came out to resurface the ice. Attempts to restore the lighting at the Devils' end were unsuccessful at 9:21 p.m. and 9:35 p.m.

At 10:02 p.m., the ice crew moved both nets to the rink's Zamboni entrance. MSG's local broadcast indicated by 10:04 p.m. that the game had been suspended. A public address announcement at 10:07 p.m. said the game had been postponed and would be rescheduled for a later date.

"We tried our darndest to get this game in tonight," Lamoriello said. "We waited as long as we possibly could with the hopes that they could do something."

Several options were explored to try and generate the light needed to resume the game. On-ice officials determined the available light was insufficient.

"We put the LED boards on to see if there was enough light to play," Lamoriello said. "It was too risky. At one end zone, there were too many shadows. Safety has to come first in a situation like this."

Both teams are scheduled to play Saturday. The Devils are headed to Montreal, while Tampa Bay will be in Philadelphia. It is not yet clear where the game will be resumed. Lamoriello expected it to be completed in New Jersey, and said there was no consideration given to moving it to the adjacent AmeriHealth Pavilion, where the Devils practice.

Lamoriello said players were informed at 10 p.m. that the game had been postponed. If the situation had been resolved, there would have been a 10-minute warm-up before play resumed.

The game was finally suspended once it was determined that electricians would be unable to fix the problem.

A once-in-a-lifetime event?

"I hope so," Lamoriello said.

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