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
New York Rangers get OK to interview Gerard Gallant for coaching job
The New York Rangers plan to interview Gerard Gallant for their head coaching job, TSN reported.
The Vegas Golden Knights, who fired Gallant during the 2019-20 season, reportedly have granted permission.
A first conversation between the Rangers and Gallant was expected to take place quickly, before Gallant heads to Latvia to coach Team Canada at the IIHF World Championship, which runs from May 21-June 6.
Gallant, 57, was the first coach of the expansion Golden Knights and led them to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season in 2017-18. The Washington Capitals won in five games.
He was fired 49 games into his third season when the team was 24-19-6, and he had an overall record of 118-75-20 with Vegas.
He also coached the Columbus Blue Jackets (2003-07) and Florida Panthers (2014-17) and has a career record of 270-216-4-51 in 541 career games as a head coach.
The Rangers are in the midst of an overhaul. They fired head coach David Quinn and three assistant coaches on Wednesday, following the dismissal last week of team president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton.
The Rangers failed to qualify for the playoffs for the fourth straight season after posting a 27-23-6 record in 2020-21. They finished in fifth place in the East Division.
Quinn, 54, compiled a 96-87-25 record during his three seasons as coach of the Rangers after taking over for Alain Vigneault on May 23, 2018.
–Field Level Media
NHL wants answer on Canada border crossing soon
The Canadian teams played only each other during the 2020-21 season in a revamped North Division because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that will continue during the first two rounds of the playoffs. It’s what happens after that — in the semifinals and finals — that is up in the air.
“The conversations are ongoing. We’ve told them we really do need to know by the end of the first round, and that’s around June 1,” Steve Mayer, the league’s chief content officer, told ESPN. “That’s pretty much the date that we’ve talked to them about, saying we have to know one way or another.”
Last season, the playoffs were held in bubbles in Edmonton and Toronto.
Under current rules, American-based teams couldn’t play in Canada without mandatory quarantines, which would make travel for home-and-away games impossible under the playoff calendar.
The NHL and government representatives last talked a week ago, and the Canadian officials submitted a variety of questions for the league’s response.
In the interim, Mayer said, the league has discussed the possibility of the Canadian team that advances from the North Division being based in the U.S. for the duration of the postseason. Talks have occurred with officials at NHL arenas where teams didn’t qualify for the playoffs.
An NHL source told ESPN this week that the league expects “a positive resolution” to the issue, however.
–Field Level Media
Canada to play 2 more home World Cup qualifiers in U.S.
As Canada continues to wrestle with the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s national soccer team will play two more of its home World Cup qualifying matches south of the border in June.
Canada will face Aruba in Bradenton, Fla., on June 5, and will take on Suriname in suburban Chicago on June 8, Canada Soccer confirmed Monday.
The games are Canada‘s last two of four matches in CONCACAF Group B. A March 26 Canadian home match against Bermuda was held in Orlando, Fla., which Canada won 5-1. Also, the Caymen Islands were the host team on March 29, when Canada rolled, 11-0.
Only one national team advances to the next round, and Canada and Suriname top the group and the game against Suriname in Bridgeview, Ill., figures to be the deciding match in both teams’ efforts to advance.
Thirty nations from Central and North America are competing in this first round with six group winners advancing to a second round of head-to-head knockout matches for the right to compete in the CONCACAF final round of eight teams competing for four places in the 2022 World Cup. A fifth team from CONCACAF advances to an intercontinental play-in round.
As was executed in Orlando, the match in Chicago will be staged in accordance with the FIFA International Match Protocols supported by the relevant public health requirements.
“We had hoped to play these matches at home with Canadian fans providing the support and momentum to play a tough nation like Suriname in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers,” said John Herdman, coach of the Canadian men’s national team. “The reality of the global pandemic and the priority to keep our communities in Canada safe means the match will be played at a neutral site in Chicago with no home advantage, but we will embrace that challenge.
“Whatever comes at us, we will take it on and do whatever we need to do to advance to the next round.”
-Field Level Media
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