NHL History: Today in 1988, the lights go out at the Boston Gardens

The Edmonton Oilers dynasty of the ’80’s kept rolling into 1987-88.

They cruised to a 44-25-11 regular season finishing second in the Smythe Division scoring 363 goals, the second-most in the league that year.

Wayne Gretzky scored 149 points and Messier tallied 111. Edmonton once again was one of the best teams in the league.

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And it showed once they made it to the playoffs. Before Edmonton made it to the Cup finals against the Boston Bruins, they beat the Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames and Detroit Red Wings losing only two games along the way.

The Oilers kept rolling winning the first three games of the Cup finals and in game four, they kept it up.

That game took place today in 1988 at the Boston Gardens. The Oilers got on the board 10 seconds into the game with a Glenn Anderson goal, before Esa Tikkanen potted a powerplay marker at the 15:33 mark.

Boston bounced back with three goals through the first half of the second period, before Craig Simpson fired home a shot at the 16:37; And then, the lights went out.

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“At approximately 9:33 p.m., there was an overload of a 4,000-volt switch of a transformer unit outside the building… on a piece of railway equipment the Garden had inherited over a year ago. This tripped a switch, shutting down the main power.” – NHL president John Ziegler after the game

It was, by most accounts, the first Stanley Cup finals game to be suspended. The only other time noted by Edmonton Journals scribe Jim Matheson was a 1955 game when fans rioted over a suspension handed out to Maurice Richard.

Despite the fact that crews restored the power 90 minutes after it shut down, the 14,451 people in attendance had already left. Both owners and general managers decided the fourth game would be played in its entirety two days later in Edmonton.

It was a game the Oilers stole 6-3 in thanks to a three-goal middle frame.

On Twitter: @zjlaing