The Bridgestone NHL Outdoors Saturday between the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche at Lake Tahoe will resume at midnight ET after being delayed following the first period.
Sunlight caused ice conditions to deteriorate at Edgewood Tahoe Resort in Stateline, Nevada.
The Avalanche lead 1-0.
“The plan is simply that we concluded after consulting with our ice makers and both teams that we didn’t think that it was safe or appropriate to continue this game at this time,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said on the NBC game broadcast. “Some of the players wanted to continue playing. Other players were more concerned. I felt, as did the [NHL] Players’ Association and everybody in hockey operations, and most importantly the ice makers, the most prudent thing to do was to discontinue the game now.”
In addition, the Honda NHL Outdoors Sunday between the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins at the same site has been moved back to 7:30 p.m. ET. It was originally scheduled for 2 p.m. ET. Commissioner Bettman said it was decided Saturday morning that the Sunday game would be pushed back “because the forecast was no cloud cover at all.”
The Flyers-Bruins game will now air on NBCSN in the United States, and on Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.
The New Jersey Devils-Washington Capitals game in Washington on Sunday, originally scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, will now be played at 2 p.m. ET and air on NBC.
“We’ve done over 30 outdoor games,” Commissioner Bettman said. “This has been the most difficult weather circumstances we’ve had and it’s a beautiful day. The cloud cover is everywhere but where the sun is and it did a number on the ice. We were observing in the first period players getting stuck, particularly at center ice, tripping or catching a skate. While both teams and coaches wanted to finish he first period we concluded after consultation, and I’m sorry it took as long as it did but we wanted to try to get it right, that the best thing to do was postpone for the time being.”
Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said he understood the decision to delay the game.
“Even coming back here knowing that first period was the way it was and some spots of the ice were a little slushy,” the forward told NBC, “but we were ready to go back out whenever they called us back and we kind of wanted to go back out. But it’s probably a good decision that we moved it to tonight and we’ll be ready to go. I don’t know what the afternoon is going to look like for us, but go back, get something to eat maybe and lay down for a bit. It’s not the normal, but we’ll figure it out. We were having fun out there.”
Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard scored at 2:58 of the first period, on a wrist shot from the right face-off circle that went through Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury‘s legs.
Colorado has three seconds remaining on a 5-on-3 power play followed by 37 seconds of a 5-on-4 because of a double minor for high-sticking by Vegas forward Mark Stone and a penalty on the Golden Knights for too many men on the ice.
The Avalanche outshot the Golden Knights 17-8 in the first period. Fleury made 14 consecutive saves after Girard’s goal.
NHL.com staff writer Tom Gulitti contributed to this report