The Tampa Bay Lightning are going to have to wait a little longer to end their 10-game losing streak against the New Jersey Devils.
How long? Nobody really knows after the Devils-Lightning game was suspended Friday night when a lighting problem on one side of the arena could not be fixed.
The teams waited almost two hours before the league decided to suspend the game with the Lightning leading 3-0 with 9:12 left in the period.
"We felt the teams could not continue playing," said Colin Campbell, the NHL'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."
The game will resume at the point where play was stopped.
The Lightning led 3-0 with 9:12 left in the period when the lights dimmed in the Devils end and could not be relit.
Steve Downie, Brandon Bochenski and Steven Stamkos scored for Tampa Bay.
Lightning coach Rick Tocchet wanted the game to resume Sunday, provided the building was available.
I think we got a five-minute power play, too," Tocchet quipped.
Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said a circuit breaker at three-year-old Prudential Center went down during the second period. The teams went to their locker rooms after initially waiting about 10 minutes for the lights to come back on.
"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 tonight," Lamoriello said.
Lamoriello said arena personnel turned up the LED lights on the scoreboard to provide more light, but there were too many shadows for play to continue.
"Safety has to come first," said Lamoriello, who said he was in constant contact with the league during the problem.
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.
The Lightning only had seven shots in the opening 30 minutes but three got behind Martin Brodeur, with the first two goals coming on the power play.
Downie deflected a point shot by Kurtis Foster past Brodeur at 6:58 of the opening period, and Tampa Bay got its other two goals in the second period before the lights dimmed.
Bochenski, who was recalled from Norfolk of the AHL on Jan. 2, scored on a quick shot from in front after Rob Niedermayer deflected a Stamkos pass to him at 5:13.
Stamkos scored a little less than five minutes later. He pushed a pass to Martin St. Louis and then took a return pass for a shot into a wide-open net.