The Washington Capitals will not return to game action on Monday after the NHL announced a delay in the return-to-play date.
The decision allow teams more time to evaluate COVID-19 test results amid the continued rise in Omicron cases.
“In order to allow the League an adequate opportunity to analyze League-wide testing results and to assess Clubs’ readiness to play, the target date for resumption of game play will be pushed back an additional day,” the NHL said in a press release.
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Teams will still return to practice on Sunday, Dec. 26. However, the league postponed all Monday games, including the Capitals’ home game against Ottawa. The league will have more information on a return date on Sunday.
This will be Washington’s third straight game that has been postponed in the last week. The Capitals’ tilt with Philly on Tuesday was called off when the Capitals ran into more COVID-19 trouble. After getting test results, Justin Schultz and Daniel Sprong had to leave the morning skate. The NHL also moved Washington’s Thursday game against New York.
Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie remain on COVID-19 protocol. Nic Dowd, Garnet Hathaway, Trevor van Riemsdyk and Scott Murray all recently returned from protocol. Mike Sgarbossa also went on protocol on Sunday but came off Monday after his test turned out to be a false positive. Lars Eller was the first Capital to contact COVID this season back in November.
Meanwhile, in a somewhat unpopular decision, the league announced that it will not send players to Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics due to COVID-19. Instead, the NHL will use the break to make up the 50-plus postponed games.