Saturday’s outdoor game — which ended early on Sunday — between the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights in Lake Tahoe was unlike anything the sport has ever seen before. That’s because there was a nearly nine-hour delay as a result of the sun creating unsafe ice conditions earlier in the day.
The bright sun on the clear day simply caused too many issues throughout the first period. Several players and even a referee lost their footing on slushy ice. After the first period concluded, officials made an attempt to work with the ice and covered sections of it with tarps in an effort to keep the sun off of it. The league ended up making the decision to postpone the game to resume at midnight ET/9 p.m. PT.
As for the action that took place on the ice when it was deemed safe to play on, Avalanche center Nathan McKinnon proved why he’s one of the NHL’s most electrifying stars. MacKinnon registered one goal and a pair of assists in a 3-2 win over the Golden Knights. It marked the team’s second victory over Vegas in the past week.
McKinnon provided easily the most exciting play of the day as he went end-to-end and deposited a goal past the blocker of Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury midway through the second period, which gave the Avalanche a 2-1 lead. The score came just minutes after Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez tied the game at 1-1 via a rebound in front of the Colorado net.
With under seven minutes to go in the third period, Devon Toews ripped a shot past Fleury right off the face-off to make it a 3-1 game. However, Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch did cut it to a 3-2 game off of a beautiful spin move in front of Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer to make it interesting, but it was ultimately too little too late.
During the first period, the Avalanche opened the scoring with a goal from defenseman Samuel Girard thanks to a beautiful pass from MacKinnon just 2:58 into the contest.
In an effort to avoid a similar ice situation happening when the Flyers face the Bruins on Sunday, the league pushed the start time of that game from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.