Virus outbreak postpones Sens’ next 3 games

    Greg Wyshynski is ESPN’s senior NHL writer.

The NHL postponed the Ottawa Senators’ next three games because of a COVID-19 outbreak, the first games this season that the league has had to postpone for COVID.

The Senators were due to travel to New Jersey to face the Devils on Tuesday before returning home for games against the Nashville Predators on Thursday and the New York Rangers on Saturday. Their next scheduled game after that is Monday, Nov. 22, at the Colorado Avalanche.

Ottawa had 10 players and assistant coach Jack Capuano test positive for COVID-19 over the past 10 days. Among the players out of the lineup are goalie Matt Murray, centers Drake Batherson and Josh Norris and defenseman Nikita Zaitsev.

The Senators lost 4-0 to the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

“It’s unfortunate, but as long as guys are safe, that’s the No. 1 priority,” defenseman Michael Del Zotto said. “But after that, it’s an opportunity for other guys. It’s a next-man-up mentality.”

While these are the first postponements, the NHL has had a few teams affected by COVID-19 outbreaks this season. The San Jose Sharks had seven players and coach Bob Boughner out of the lineup and in the NHL COVID-19 protocols, including defenseman Erik Karlsson and top-line winger Timo Meier. The Pittsburgh Penguins had a handful of players in the protocol, including captain Sidney Crosby and coach Mike Sullivan.

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