NHL Buzz: Flames cancel skate due to COVID-19 protocol


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Calgary Flames

The Flames canceled their morning skate Friday as a precaution because one player tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.

The player is in isolation and all other staff and players have tested negative.

Calgary is scheduled to host the Montreal Canadiens (9 p.m. ET; SN, RDS, NHL.TV).

The Flames (19-23-3) are in fifth in the Scotia North Division, eight points behind the fourth-place Canadiens. The top four teams qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.


Buffalo Sabres

Goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is expected to make his NHL debut against the Boston Bruins (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, MSG-B, NESNplus, NHL.TV).

Dustin Tokarski started and allowed five goals on 38 shots in a 5-1 loss to the Bruins on Thursday in the first game of the back-to-back set.

“I think it’s better for ‘UPL’ to see one more night,” Sabres coach Don Granato said Thursday. “It was going to be a split anyway, we felt. Give him another night from the bench. I think that’s good.”

Luukkonen was recalled Tuesday after being added to the taxi squad Saturday. The 22-year-old is 7-5-2 with a 3.60 goals-against average and an .888 save percentage in 14 games for Rochester of the American Hockey League this season. 

“I mentioned how important I felt that was, to give him that time to acclimate, sit through meetings,” Granato said. “You see him talking to guys more, older guys more, a mix of guys, a natural progression of that, which I think is a big part of this. … The biggest thing is his comfort level increases every day, so that’s more of what goes into this decision.” — Amalie Benjamin

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