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GLASNOST: Panthers Work to Make Sure Tuesday's PlexiGate Doesn't Happen Again

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The Panthers' plexiglas problem took on a life of its own Tuesday night as it was featured on sites throughout the internet and made an appearance on ESPN's SportsCenter.

Midway through the third period Tuesday, a shot cracked a pane of glass behind the Detroit goal. Florida's ice crew took down the busted piece and was ready to replace it with another but that piece of glass slipped off its cart and cracked.

The arena only keeps one piece of glass without its protective backing to keep it from being scratched or broken. So when the backup piece of glass broke, all they had left was glass with the double-sided adhesive backing.

Because it would have taken an approximate 20 minutes to get the stubborn adhesive off, the decision was to put the glass up with the backing still on.

What it looked like was cardboard or plywood instead of glass. "Hurricane season is over,'' Panthers television voice Steve Goldstein quipped on the broadcast.

Game officials told both benches that the odd-looking glass was indeed glass and safe for play. As the third period went on, the backing was taken off another piece of glass and the one with backing on was replaced during the break before overtime.

According to one member of the ice crew, all remaining pieces of glass at the arena were cleared of the protective backing on Wednesday. Large pieces of cardboard are being used to keep the glass sheets from scratches.

"I'm from Toronto so it was pretty big news there,'' said Brad Boyes, who scored the game-winner in the shootout.

"My friends were sending me all kinds of pictures. It was quite the conversation piece. We were told on the bench that it was glass but it would take time to get the cover-up off. It would have been a 20 minute delay. They wanted to get the game going. But we knew it was glass. If it would have been plywood, we would have been in trouble.''

 

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