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Saturday, May 18, 2024

ESPN Narrowly Avoids Disaster on Hurricanes-Rangers Broadcast

  • Viewers briefly panicked as ESPN accidentally cut to Avalanche-Stars.
  • The broadcast didn’t miss any goals in the double OT thriller.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers and Hurricanes were tied with less than a minute left in regulation in the second round of the NHL playoffs … and let’s cut over to Avalanche-Stars. 

ESPN quickly avoided what could have been a sports fan’s worst nightmare Tuesday night after its broadcast of Hurricanes-Rangers briefly switched over to the start of Colorado-Dallas for roughly 17 seconds before switching back to the Rangers, who wound up winning 4–3 in a double overtime thriller. 

The switch came with the Rangers on a power play and 49 seconds on the clock before a quick cut to the start of Avalanche-Stars with commentators Mike Monaco and AJ Mleczko both introducing themselves before the station switched back to the original broadcast. 

When the original game returned to the airwaves, 32 seconds remained in the third period and nothing significant had occurred in the interim. ESPN had moved Avalanche-Stars to ESPNU while the Rangers and Hurricanes played on. It appeared the mishap occurred while trying to switch the game onto ESPNU and instead the games were switched instead of the channels. 

While it’s only the second round of the playoffs, had a game-winner been scored while the screen was black or changed over, it would have been hockey’s version of The Sopranos ending. Luckily, nothing was missed, and fans had to wait another hour for the game to be decided. 

Those that stayed up for both games were awarded another thriller as the Avalanche rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat the Stars in overtime in what was the team’s biggest rally in 27 years. 

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