Heavy sunlight and unseasonable warmth is wreaking havoc with the NHL’s outdoor games in Lake Tahoe.
Sunday’s game between the Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers in Stateline, Nev., had its puck drop shifted for the second time, and is now scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. That decision came while Saturday’s opener between the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche was in an extended first intermission.
The league ultimately decided to halt the nationally televised game, announcing it would resume at 9 p.m. local time, midnight on the East Coast. The broadcast, which began on NBC, will finish on cable and the NBC Sports Network.
“Sunshine has always been our enemy,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said on the broadcast, calling the cloudless, full-sun conditions “the most difficult weather circumstance” the league has had for any of its close to three dozen outdoor games. (A grouping which includes a contest on the Las Vegas Strip in 1991 and at Dallas’s Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Day 2020.)
Originally announced as a 3 p.m. start, Boston’s game with Philadelphia had already been moved back to 2 p.m. due to concerns about what the cloudless, full-sun conditions would do to the ice surface. Temperatures in Lake Tahoe are unseasonably warm, hovering in the low 30s on Saturday.
Like Saturday’s game, Boston’s game broadcast will move to NBC Sports Network from NBC. The big network will carry New Jersey’s game at Washington at 2 p.m. Sunday instead.