WASHINGTON — Tuesday night’s Flyers-Capitals game was postponed because of the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols. This was to be the second meeting between the teams in three days.
The Flyers’ Travis Sanheim was put on the COVID-19 protocol list Sunday after practicing fully with the team the afternoon before. Being placed on the protocol list does not necessarily mean a positive test.
Flyers left winger Claude Giroux and defenseman Justin Braun were added to the COVID-19 list Tuesday, causing the postponement, the NHL announced. The league, which said a makeup date has not been set, said the postponement was made by the NHL, the players association and the club’s medical groups “out of an abundance of caution while the league continues to analyze test results in the coming days.”
The Flyers did not make anyone available to comment on the situation.
The Capitals (6-3-3) had four players placed on the COVID-19 list on Jan. 20. First-line center Evgeny Kuznetsov and starting goaltender Ilya Samsonov returned to practice Monday.
The Flyers (8-3-2) already had games on Thursday and Saturday against visiting New Jersey wiped out because of an outbreak among Devils players. Same thing for Washington, which was to play Buffalo on Thursday and Saturday as well.
To date, the NHL has postponed 34 games because of coronavirus-related developments.
The Flyers’ three postponements mean they will have six days between games; they are scheduled to face the New York Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Last Wednesday, during a week in which New Jersey, Buffalo, Minnesota, and Colorado postponed games because of the coronavirus, the NHL added some more safety/health protocols, including the removal of glass behind the benches to allow the air to circulate, and game-day meetings to be conducted virtually.
The season started less than a month ago, and about 100 NHL players have been on the COVID-19 protocol list. Players have had to miss games because of quarantines, positive tests or symptoms, or contact tracing.
Last month, the NHL fined the Capitals $100,000 for player violations of COVID-19 protocols, saying it involved social interactions among team members who were not wearing masks.