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Islanders-Red Wings game delayed when Zamboni damages ice before third period

Crews repair the ice at Joe Louis Arena

Crews repair the ice at Joe Louis Arena after an ice resurfacer cut into the ice between the second and third periods of an NHL hockey game between the New York Islanders and the Detroit Red Wings, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in Detroit. Credit: AP / Paul Sancya

DETROIT — Joe Louis Arena is on its way out, with this season and next before the old barn is replaced by a new arena nearby. The crazy scene before the start of Saturday’s third period either adds to its charm or serves as a reminder why the building is in need of replacement.

The arena Zamboni caught one of the metal pegs that holds the net in place as it was cleaning the ice after the second period and dragged it, causing a deep gouge in the ice that went from the goal line to the blue line. The game was delayed 33 minutes while the ice crew filled the hole and hoped it would freeze.

The on-ice officials consulted with the NHL Situation Room in Toronto as well as both coaches and captains before choosing to resume the game, with the teams switching ends midway through the third.

The fact that it was 4-0 Wings probably helped make it less of an issue.

“Tough to get any momentum going when you’re sitting there that long,” Travis Hamonic said. “I can’t say I’ve ever seen that happen.”

Had the game been unable to continue, Jack Capuano said he was informed that the third period would have been played in Brooklyn on Feb. 15, when the Wings come to Barclays Center.

“It was just about the safety of the players,” Capuano said.


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