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Oilers preparing for Canadiens on Wednesday following postponement

Practiced day after not playing because of COVID-19 protocol

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

The Edmonton Oilers are preparing to play at the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; SN, RDS, NHL.TV) after their game was postponed Monday because two Montreal players entered COVID-19 protocol. 

"We don't know what's going to happen. I'm sure we'll find out soon," Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said Tuesday. "I think we're just kind of trusting the NHL right now to follow the right protocols and keep everybody out there safe. Right now, we're preparing for a game."

The NHL announced the game was postponed about 30 minutes before the scheduled 7 p.m. ET puck drop after Canadiens forwards Joel Armia and Jesperi Kotkaniemi were placed in COVID-19 protocol. There are no Oilers players in protocol.

A makeup date has not been announced.

It was scheduled to be the first of three straight games in Montreal between the Oilers (21-13-0) and Canadiens (14-8-9). Instead, it became the first Scotia North Division game postponed this season.

The Canadiens did not practice on Tuesday.

Edmonton defenseman Darnell Nurse said the last-minute postponement and the first cancellation in the division consisting of the seven NHL teams based in Canada was a reminder of the challenges faced this season during a pandemic.

"You can't take anything for granted," Nurse said. "That's how this world is right now. Just because we haven't had to deal with it here in the North doesn't mean we're immune to it all. It's a good reminder what we need to do to keep this thing rolling and how important all the details in the day to day are, and the people putting in the time to keep everyone safe, how important it is to maintain those guidelines and maintain the focus on keeping this thing going."

Edmonton coach Dave Tippet said he found out about the postponement 15 minutes before warmups from general manager Ken Holland. 

"It's not a normal season," Tippett said. "There are going to be challenges that come in and out. You just have to deal with them. Last time we were in [Montreal], we lost (forward Jesse) Puljujarvi for the day on a false positive and then (goalie Mikko) Koskinen couldn't play because he had gone for a walk with him. 

"There are just things that are happening we've talked about and you've got to roll with the punches a little bit and that's exactly where it's at. We know that we're going to have to make up the game somewhere and it's just part of what we're dealing with this year. Hopefully it's not a big concern. You just continue to move on and you look at the game in front of you and that's the one you have to prepare for and hopefully you play well."

There have been 43 games postponed since the NHL season began Jan. 13, including 38 because of protocol. Five games have been postponed because of weather-related issues.

NHL.com staff writer Tim Campbell contributed to this report

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