MONTREAL — The NHL has postponed Monday night's game in Montreal between the Canadiens and the Edmonton Oilers, making it the first contest in the all-Canadian North Division to be shut down due to COVID-19 concerns.
The league announced the postponement shortly before the scheduled 7 p.m. ET opening faceoff after Montreal forwards Joel Armia and Jesperi Kotkaniemi were placed on the league's COVID protocol list.
The league said in a statement it will provide more information on Tuesday.
Showing up on the list doesn't necessarily mean an individual has tested positive. Players can go into protocol for unconfirmed results, if they're deemed a close contact of a positive case, or if a quarantine is required.
There was no immediate word on a makeup date for the postponed game. Messages left with both teams weren't immediately returned.
The Canadiens announced later Monday that Tuesday's practice has been cancelled, adding that the team will report to its practice facility for regular COVID testing, while the Bell Sports Complex will be closed for "precautionary measures."
The Oilers were looking to move into sole possession of first place in the North Division in the opener of a five-game road trip.
They are tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs, who were idle Monday, with 42 points. Toronto has two games in hand on the Oilers.
Edmonton and Montreal are scheduled to play Wednesday at the Bell Centre and again on Friday.
The Oilers have won three straight games and are 18-7-0 in their last 25. Montreal has earned at least a point in eight of its last 10 games.
The Canadiens are five points behind Toronto with a game in hand.
There have been 38 games postponed this season because of protocol. The shortened 56-game campaign began Jan. 13.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 22, 2021.
The Canadian Press