Senators have three games postponed due to COVID-19 concerns
10 players in protocol; Ottawa not scheduled to play again until Nov. 22NHL.com @NHLdotcom
The Ottawa Senators had three games postponed as a result of 10 players in NHL COVID-19 protocol and "evidence of continued spread in recent days," the NHL announced Monday.
The second of the three games, at home against the Nashville Predators, was scheduled to be played Thursday.
The Senators also were scheduled to play at the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, and at home against the New York Rangers on Saturday. Rescheduled dates for each of the three games are to be determined. Ottawa remains scheduled to play at the Colorado Avalanche on Nov. 22.
Ottawa (4-10-1) had the 10 players in protocol for their 4-0 home loss to the Calgary Flames on Sunday: forwards Drake Batherson, Austin Watson, Alex Formenton, Dylan Gambrell and Connor Brown, defensemen Nick Holden, Victor Mete, Nikita Zaitsev and Josh Brown, and goalie Matt Murray.
Batherson, who leads the Senators with 16 points and seven goals, initially tested positive Nov. 13, but two subsequent negative tests allowed him to be in the lineup, and he scored four points (two goals, two assists) in a 6-3 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins that night. He was placed back in protocol the next day.
The Senators announced Nov. 6 that Watson had been placed in protocol. They cancelled their practice Nov. 8 for precautionary reasons after Holden and associate coach Jack Capuano were placed in protocol the previous day. Later that day, they announced Brown and Gambrell were placed in protocol. Mete went into protocol Nov. 9, Brown on Nov. 10, and Murray, Forementon and Zaitsev on Nov. 11.
Ottawa hasn't practiced since Nov. 5. It played games Nov. 9 (at the Boston Bruins, 3-2 loss), Nov. 11 (home against the Los Angeles Kings, 2-0 loss) and Nov. 13 (home against Pittsburgh, 6-3 win).
"It's tough, it's weird," Senators captain Brady Tkachuk said of not being able to practice. "You just get ready in a pregame skate and get ready for the game. It's definitely different having not experienced it before, but it's the adversity that's laid out in front of us and that we have to learn from and be better because of it."
These were the first NHL games postponed this season due to COVID-19 concerns. The NHL had 55 games postponed last season; all were made up as part of a 56-game schedule for each of the 31 teams.