Oilers game against Canadiens delayed after Puljujarvi enters COVID-19 protocol

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The game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night has been delayed by one hour after an Oilers player entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol Thursday afternoon.

The game will now start at 6 p.m. with the Faceoff Show starting at 4 p.m. on 630 CHED.

The move allows the league to complete and analyze players’ test results ahead of the game.

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The final game of their four-game road trip gives the Oilers another shot at Montreal.

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The Oilers hosted Montreal on Jan. 16 and 18. Montreal won convincingly in both games, 5-1 and 3-1.

“I watched both of them yesterday. We weren’t near as determined as we should be in the offensive zone to win puck battles, get to the net and create offence. So that’s a good place to start for us,” said head coach Dave Tippett.

“We know what they bring. They’re a well-structured team, very hard team to play against,” said defenceman Darnell Nurse.

“We’ve changed some systems around a little bit. I think our confidence has for sure grown. I like where our game is at compared to where we were when we played them last time,” said captain Connor McDavid.

Mike Smith will start in net after winning his first appearance of the season Monday in Ottawa. The rest of the Oilers lineup is up in the air. Winger Jesse Puljujarvi didn’t take the morning skate in what Tippett called a precautionary measure.

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“I was told by the trainers I’ve got to hold him out this morning and that’s what I did,” said Tippett.

On Thursday afternoon, Puljujarvi appeared on the NHL’s COVID-19 Protocol List.

Zack Kassian has returned to Edmonton for tests after being injured on Monday. Tippett had labelled him as being out week-to-week.

– With files from Kirby Bourne, 630 CHED

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