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Cause of Super Bowl power outage remains unclear

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Cause of Super Bowl power outage remains unclear

NEW ORLEANS (AP) As the Superdome's energy provider and stadium management try to determine what caused a 34-minute power outage at Sunday's Super Bowl, local officials are hoping the incident won't leave a black eye on the city or prevent the league's big game from coming back to town.

Larry Roedel, a lawyer for the state board that oversees the Superdome, said Monday that the outage did not appear to be related to work done on the stadium's electrical system in December. The work, approved by the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District last fall, replaced feeder equipment connecting the stadium to power provider Entergy New Orleans.

Entergy and the company that manages the Superdome, SMG, said Sunday that an ``abnormality'' occurred where stadium equipment intersects with an Entergy electric feed, causing a breaker to create the outage. It remained unclear Monday exactly what the abnormality was or why it occurred.

But Doug Thornton, manager of the Superdome, said called the outage an equipment error, not a human one. He said that when the power outage hit, meters indicated the stadium was drawing less power than it does during a typical New Orleans Saints game. The air conditioning system was running, he said, but on less power than it does in September.

Thornton said millions of dollars have been spent upgrading electrical equipment in the building since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, and none of it failed. He said it was working properly when power was restored.

He also said there is no evidence that the halftime show had anything to do with the outage, which struck early in the third quarter. He said the show used its own dedicated generator and wasn't using the Superdome's power supply.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu told WWL-AM (www.wwl.com) on Monday that the city still wants to make a bid to host the NFL's championship game again in 2018 and that the outage won't hurt its chances.

Landrieu said league owners were impressed with the city's performance as host and even joked that the game got better after the blackout. ``"People were leaving and the game was getting boring, so we had to do a little something to spice it up,'' he said.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said New Orleans was a terrific Super Bowl host and that the outage won't affect future bids.

``I fully expect that we will be back here for Super Bowls,'' NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. ``And I hope we will be back. We want to be back.''

Goodell also said the Superdome had a backup power system ready to go, and it was about to be used when the power started coming back on.

The Superdome sits on a 52-acre former railroad yard in the business district. Though only a block from City Hall, the 76,000-seat stadium and the adjacent New Orleans Arena are owned by the state, and the seven-member commission that oversees them is appointed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.

The Superdome was built at a cost of $134 million and opened in 1975. It has been the home to the NFL's New Orleans Saints since then. The first Super Bowl was played there in 1978.

Sunday's game was the seventh Super Bowl at the stadium, and the 10th overall for New Orleans.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina ripped off the Superdome roof as an estimated 30,000 people huddled inside. They waited, rain-drenched, for days in the severe heat that followed the storm.

On Sunday, officials were eager to show off how the city had been rebuilt since Katrina, and the week of activities leading up to the game was nearly perfect.

New Orleans also is home to one of the largest convention centers in the country. Dr. Bjorn Hanson, dean of New York University's Center for Hospitality and Sports Management, said Monday that the power outage shouldn't hurt the city's reputation as a convention destination.

``I think people view it for what it was: An unusual event with a near-record power draw,'' he said. ``It was the equivalent of a circuit breaker flipping.''

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons will hold meetings in New Orleans from April 27 to May 1. Patty Anderson, director of meetings for the group, said she was unconcerned about the outage.

``It doesn't matter,'' she said. ``I never even gave it a second thought. To me, the city is bigger, stronger and more vibrant than it's ever been.''

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Associated Press writers Beth Harpaz, Brett Martel and Barry Wilner contributed to this report.

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3 reasons the Washington Capitals beat the Vancouver Canucks

3 reasons the Washington Capitals beat the Vancouver Canucks

The Capitals got their Canadian road trip off to a good start with a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. The stars came to play as Alex Ovechkin scored twice and added two assists while both John Carlson and Nicklas Backstrom recorded three point nights to lead Washington.

Here are three reasons why they won the game.

John Carlson

Carlson was easily the best player on the ice for either team. He has shown tremendous offensive instincts this season and that was on display in the first period when he snuck behind the defense to receive a pass from Jakub Vrana and chipped the puck past goalie Anders Nilsson. You don’t usually see a defenseman as the first player in on an offensive play, but Carlson saw a lane and he took it to put Washington up 1-0.

The Caps’ blue liner also added two assists on the power play. This was Carlson’s fifth multi-point game and it is only the Caps’ eighth game of the season.

You can read more on Carlson’s big night here.

Evgeny Kuznetsov from the office

The Caps scored a power play goal in the second period from the office, but the shot came from the right faceoff circle, not from Ovechkin’s spot on the left.

So much of Washington’s power play is built around setting up Ovechkin on the left and that gives players like Kuznetsov a lot more room than they normally would have.

Ovechkin had the puck at the top of his office, but the Canucks had his shooting lane covered. Instead of shooting, Ovechkin fed it back to Carlson at the point. The penalty killers did not want to get drawn away from Ovechkin and just leave him over for the return pass, but that left Kuznetsov wide open in the opposite faceoff circle. Carlson fed him the puck and he did his best Ovechkin impression with the one-time goal.

Kuznetsov now has five goals on the season and all five have come on the power play.

A broken stick

Trying to slow down the NHL’s top power play is hard enough. When one penalty killer loses a stick, however, it becomes that much more difficult

Already up 3-2, the Caps got a third period power play after Troy Stecher was caught for tripping Dmitrij Jaskin. While on the power play, a shot by Carlson broke the stick of Markus Granlund.

You may not realize just how small a player becomes when he loses his stick. Most importantly for a power play, it means the penalty killer cannot stay in front of the puck to block a shot while also covering a passing lane with his stick. With no stick for Granlund, that gave Ovechkin and Carlson plenty of room to exchange passes. Carlson only had to wait for Ovechkin to get into position before setting him up for the one-timer from the office.

Ovechkin’s second goal of the night extended the Caps’ lead to two and shut the door on any possible Canucks comeback.

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It's early, but John Carlson is easily living up to his new contract

It's early, but John Carlson is easily living up to his new contract

Whenever a player has a career year in the last year of his contract, there is always some trepidation the next season. Was he really worth all those years or all that money that come with his new deal or did he just cash in on one great season?

John Carlson got the big contract and now is silencing all the doubters with his outstanding play.

Carlson scored his fifth goal of the season Monday as he chipped in a great feed from Jakub Vrana past Vancouver Canucks goalie Anders Nilsson (see above).

He later assisted on Evgeny Kuznetsov's goal in the second period giving him his fifth multi-point game of the year.

On the final year of his deal in 2017-18, Carlson was brilliant with 15 goals, 53 assists and 68 points, all of which were career highs.

It’s rare to see a bonafide No. 1 defenseman hit the open market, meaning there would have been plenty of teams lining up to pay him the big bucks. The Caps never let it get that far and they re-signed Carlson to an eight-year deal worth $64 million before free agency opened. His $8 million cap hit ties him for second among all defensemen.

That’s a whole lot of money to spend on a player whose previous career high was 55 points. Carlson would not have been the first player to regress in the first year after signing a big deal and he certainly would not be the last.

For now, however, he looks like he is worth every penny.

Carlson’s 68 points last season led all defensemen and he looks like he’s on pace to shatter those numbers. His goal Monday was his 11th point on the season. It took him 15 goals to reach that mark last season and 43 games to reach five goals.

Despite a career year, Carlson was not invited to the All-Star Game, he was not a finalist for the Norris Trophy and he was not named a first or second-team All-Star at season’s end. At his current rate of play, however, he will be impossible to ignore. 

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