The Mercury News

Ovechkin goes on COVID list; Hurricanes games called off


Alex Ovechkin and three other Washington Capitals players were added to the NHL’s COVID-19 list Wednesday and the team was fined $100,000 by the league for violating coronaviru­s protocols.

In addition to three-time MVP Ovechkin — one of just eight players in NHL history with more than 700 goals — the Capitals joining the COVID-19 list were center Evgeny Kuznetsov, defenseman Dmitry Orlov and top goalie Ilya Samsonov.

Five players from the Carolina Hurricanes also are on the list and that team’s games were called off by the league through “at least” Saturday.

The postponeme­nts were announced Wednesday, a day before the Hurricanes were set to host the Florida Panthers in their home opener. The teams were scheduled to play again Saturday.

The NHL said the Hurricanes’ training facilities are closed and will stay that way “until further notice.” The league is reviewing and revising Carolina’s schedule.

The Capitals were punished by the league for “social interactio­ns among team members who were in close contact and who were not wearing face coverings.”

This is the first instance this season of Capitals players appearing on the NHL’s COVID-19 list, which could include those who test positive, have a potential exposure or face quarantine requiremen­ts.

Being on that list would make Ovechkin and the others unavailabl­e for practice, but it is possible that they could be allowed back with the team in time to play in Washington’s next game, which is Friday against the visiting Buffalo Sabres.

A Capitals spokesman did not immediatel­y respond to a request for comment Wednesday night.

Washington has played four games so far, going 2-0-2.

This is the second straight postponeme­nt involving the Hurricanes: Their game at Nashville on Tuesday was the the NHL’s first postponeme­nt since the season began this month.

The league didn’t specify which team prompted that night’s postponeme­nt, although four Hurricanes players — Warren Foegele, Jordan Martinook, Jaccob Slavin and Teuvo Teravainen — were added to the daily COVID-19 list later Tuesday afternoon. OILERS 3, MAPLE LEAFS 1 >> Leon Draisaitl broke a tie on a power play midway through the third period in Edmonton’s victory at Toronto.

Draisaitl scored with Jake Muzzin in the penalty box for tripping, firing home a loose puck after Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took the initial shot. The reigning Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy winner ended the Oilers’ 0-for-12 powerplay drought.

Kailer Yamamoto was credited with the opening goal for Edmonton after the Maple Leafs fumbled the puck into their own net in the first.

Mikko Koskinen made 25 saves, Josh Archibald scored into an empty net with 1:06 left.

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