Boston Bruins announce third-period format change in game against Thrashers

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BOSTON - The game between the Bruins and Atlanta Thrashers in Boston on Saturday will see a third-period format change due to incorrect markings on the TD Banknorth Garden ice.

The Bruins and Thrashers will begin the third defending the same goals they did in the second. At the halfway point of the final period, the two teams will switch ends and the faceoff will take place on the opposite side of where play ended.

The unusual change was a result of ice in the West End of the rink. The two faceoff circles are 24 feet (roughly eight metres) from the goal line - four feet longer than NHL specifications. The corresponding faceoff circles are also four feet further away from the goal-line.

The ice sheet will be replaced prior to the Bruins' next home game Nov. 1.

"Of the many logistical tasks the Garden operations team is called upon to perform each season, painting and marking the ice sheet is one of the more routine and straight-forward," John Wentzell, the president of Banknorth Garden, said in a statement.

"Therefore, this oversight is simply an inexcusable and disappointing error for which we apologize to the Boston Bruins and NHL at large."

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