Avalanche_Blues_Hockey_54128

Mikko Rantanen of the Avalanche is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal Wednesday against the St. Louis Blues. The Avalanche won’t play again until Thursday, at the earliest, because three players are in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols. Joe Puetz/Associated Press

Three Colorado Avalanche games have been postponed after a third player entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols Friday.

Pending test results, the team could return to practice as early as Wednesday and resume play on Thursday at St. Louis.

The Avalanche were scheduled to host the Los Angeles Kings on Friday and Sunday and play at St. Louis on Tuesday.

The NHL also rescheduled a pair of games between the Vancouver and the Toronto Maple Leafs as the Canucks come back from a COVID-19 outbreak. The Leafs were scheduled to play in Vancouver on Saturday and Monday, but the league said the games have been rescheduled for Sunday and Tuesday.

The Canucks have had 11 games postponed since the outbreak hit late last month. At least 21 players and four members of the coaching staff have tested positive for the virus.

Canucks General Manager Jim Benning said Thursday that several players had not yet received the medical clearance necessary to return to the ice.

SHARKS: The team will welcome back fans on a limited basis beginning April 26 against Arizona.

The Sharks say fans with proof of vaccination or a negative test for COVID-19 will be allowed to attend games for the rest of the season.

Tickets will be sold in pods of two to four seats with distancing between each group. Fans must wear masks when not actively eating or drinking in designated areas and will not be allowed to bring bags into the games..

The team will do a test run April 24 with family members of players and staff allowed at the game against Minnesota.

SABRES: Buffalo will be leaning on its fourth, fifth and sixth-string goalies for potentially the remainder of the season, with starter Linus Ullmark listed week to week because of a lower-body injury.

Backup goalie Carter Hutton has missed 13 games because of a lower-body injury, and interim coach Don Granato said there is no timetable yet for his return.

The Sabres are currently left with two healthy goalies – Dustin Tokarski and minor-league journeyman Michael Howser.

The team planned to call up top minor-league prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to make his NHL debut, but he’s recovering from an injury he sustained earlier this week.

FRIDAY’S GAMES

CANADIENS 2, FLAMES 1: Tyler Toffoli scored two goals, including the winner in the third period, as Montreal snapped visiting Calgary’s three-game winning streak.

Toffoli was credited with the go-ahead goal at 15:45 of the third when he deflected a pass from Joel Armia over the glove of Jacob Markstrom.

WILD 3, SHARKS 2: Nick Bonino had a goal and an assist, Cam Talbot made 20 saves and Minnesota held off visiting San Jose.

Comments are not available on this story.