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Stanley Cup Game Postponed

Power Failure Prompts Evacuation of Garden


BOSTON--The fourth game of the Stanley Cup finals between the Edmonton Oilers and the Boston Bruins was postponed with the score tied 3-3 and 3:23 left in the second period when a power failure hit Boston Garden Tuesday night.

NHL President John Ziegler met with officials from both sides for several minutes and decided not to continue play even when power was restored because most of the crowd had been evacuated for security reasons.

The game could not be replayed in Boston Wednesday or Thursday nights when the Boston Celtics will be at the Garden for the first two games of their NBA Eastern Conference finals against the Detroit Pistons.

The fifth game of the Stanley Cup finals is scheduled for Edmonton Thursday night.

The power failed moments after Craig Simpson scored his second goal of the playoffs to tie the score for the Oilers, who lead the best-of-seven series 3-0.

Play had not yet resumed when the electricity failed at 9:32 p.m. EDT and emergency power was turned on.

At 10:07 the lights came back without the help of a generator. Several players came back on the ice but 95 percent of the crowd had been evacuated.

Fifteen minutes after the power failure. Boston Garden president Larry Moulter was among several people on the ice waving fans out of the stands. The power failure prevented any public address announcement to evacuate the 60-year-old building.

Bruins spokeswoman Heidi Holland said the building was cleared for security reasons. Police hurried everybody out of the Garden, saying the emergency lights would not stay on long.

About 10:30, it was announced that play would not continue.

It was the second blackout to affect a Bruins playoff game this year. The first one occurred at Montreal in the opener of the second-round series.

The loss was caused reportedly by a failure in a Boston & Maine Railroad power plant that supplies most of the Garden's power. Corridor lights with power supplied by Boston Edison Co. remained illuminated allowing the Garden crowd to exit.

Boston Edison sent some crews over to the Garden to check out the problem, utility spokesman Mike Spataro said. "Our preliminary analysis is that it is not an Edison-related problem, it might be a Garden-related problem....We don't have any reports of any other outages in the North Station area. This seems to be right now a Garden problem," he said.

The power failure also resulted in the loss of TV coverage by ESPN.

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