A major winter storm bringing blizzard conditions and bone-chilling temperatures to much of the eastern United States and Canada prompted the NHL to postpone two games.
The league's Christmas break begins on Saturday. The strength of the storm had the potential of cutting into Tampa Bay players' mandated days off had the team been stranded in Buffalo on Friday, when the brunt of the storm is expected to hit the region.
Tampa Bay instead traveled home after playing at Detroit on Wednesday night.
The Lightning's game against the Sabres has been rescheduled to March 4. The Sabres were originally scheduled to play the Philadelphia Flyers that day. The NHL has instead moved the Flyers game at Buffalo to Jan. 9.
Much of the country was bracing for a dangerous mix of sub-zero temperatures, high winds and blizzard conditions into the holiday weekend. Some parts of the U.S. could see wind chills approaching 70 degrees below zero. By Friday, the arctic front was expected to spread sharp cold as far south as Florida.