Colorado Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard (49) is surrounded by his teammates after scoring during the first period against the Vegas Golden Knights, at the Outdoor Lake Tahoe NHL hockey game in Stateline, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli))

Bright sun, poor ice delay outdoor NHL game at Lake Tahoe

STATELINE, Nev. — The outdoor game between the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche is being delayed after the first period because of poor ice conditions caused by the bright sun at Lake Tahoe.

The NHL called for the extended break after a first period that featured several players and officials falling on rough patches on the ice. The sun made it difficult to keep a smooth surface and workers spent time trying to patch holes throughout the period.

The officials met with the captains and league officials to discuss the conditions and the game was delayed until later tonight as workers put the cover back on the ice.

Game broadcaster NBC reported that Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league would decide whether to continue the game later Saturday or early Sunday morning.

The Avalanche led the game 1-0, but the game can’t be official until at least two periods are played.

The NHL also announced that Sunday’s game between Boston and Philadelphia will be moved back by more than five hours to avoid the bright sunshine that is causing issues for the first game this weekend.

The game at Edgewood Tahoe Resort will now start at 4:30 p.m. PST. It had originally been scheduled for a noon local start and then was moved back to 11 a.m. earlier in the week because of the forecast.

The game also was moved from NBC to NBCSN, with the New Jersey Devils-Washington Capitals game previously scheduled for 7 p.m. EST now being changed to 2 p.m. and being broadcast on NBC.

Both teams were unable to practice on the specially built outdoor rink before Saturday’s Vegas-Colorado game because of the ice conditions. They were forced to go to a local indoor rink instead.

“In this game, you have to learn how to adapt,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said.

___

More AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Josh Dubow, The Associated Press

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