Wes McCauley thought he had the night off.
Referee T.J. Luxmore left Friday’s game between the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders with a leg injury after being hit by the skates of the Canes’ Brady Skjei. The Hurricanes defenseman was hit along the goal line by the Isles’ Zach Parise. The collision sent Skjei crashing into the official.
Skjei, bloodied on the hit, went to the bench for repairs. Luxmore left the ice.
No penalties were called on the play.
The game resumed with referee Dan O’Rourke as the lone ref, skating with linesmen Brad Kovachik and Kyle Flemington. At least, for a little while.
All playoff games have at least one referee on standby. Elimination games, along with every match in the Conference or Cup Finals, have a backup referee and linesman.
Referee Wes McCauley, fresh off of working Rangers/Devils last night, was Friday’s standby ref on Long Island. With 13:32 to go in the second period, McCauley took the ice.
Luxmore, though, wasn’t gone for long. He returned on the next shift, just one TV timeout and ten seconds of gameplay later. The Timmins, Ontario, native wasted no time in getting back to work, whistling the game’s next penalty – a holding call against Carolina’s Jesper Kotkaniemi.
The Islanders went on to win the game 5-1. Referees were Dan O’Rourke (#9) and T.J. Luxmore (#21), with linesmen Brad Kovachik (#71) and Kyle Flemington (#55)… and, for a few seconds, Wes McCauley (#4).