Sabres vs. Islanders Postponed Because of NHL's COVID-19 Protocols

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2021

New York Islanders goalkeeper Thomas Greiss heads back to the net after a stoppage in play during the first period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Uniondale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

The NHL announced that Tuesday night's scheduled game between the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, has been postponed.

NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

Schedule Update: Tonight’s game between the @BuffaloSabres and @NYIslanders has been postponed. https://t.co/JUYPyZgh7N https://t.co/wr902aXHbz

The league noted that since severe weather on the East Coast forced the Sabres to travel Tuesday rather than Monday, there wouldn't have been enough time to go through proper COVID-19 testing and contact-tracing protocols.

On the heels of the postponement, the Sabres and Isles remain scheduled to play Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.

Although the NHL didn't provide it as a reason for the postponement of Tuesday's contest, the Sabres are coming off a two-game set against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday and Sunday.

The Devils are in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak, with 10 players on the COVID-19 Protocol Related Absence list. Per the Associated Press, Andreas Johnsson, Janne Kuokkanen, Michael McLeod and Pavel Zacha all tested positive for COVID-19 following the series against Buffalo.

As a result, the NHL has postponed the Devils' next three games, including Tuesday's scheduled clash with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Each contest has taken on added significance this season, as there are only 56 games on the schedule and each is against a divisional foe.

Both the Sabres and Islanders are outside the top four in the East Division, meaning they would miss the playoffs if they started today. With 10 points, the Sabres are one point out of fourth, while the Isles are three points out of fourth with eight.

Tuesday marks the first postponed game of the season for both Buffalo and New York, but they should be able to get back at it Thursday, COVID-19 test results permitting.