NHL Buzz: Lee, Johnston in COVID-19 protocol for Islanders


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New York Islanders

Anders Lee and Ross Johnston were placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol by the Islanders on Friday.

Lee, a forward, played in New York’s last game, a 6-1 loss at the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. He has scored four goals in 12 games this season.

Johnston, a forward, hasn’t played since a 6-3 opening-night loss at the Carolina Hurricanes on Oct. 14.

They join forward Josh Bailey, who did not play Tuesday, in protocol.

“We found out the news last night, so they are in protocol,” Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said Friday. “There’s no question you don’t replace the players that are in protocol, but this is a tremendous group of individuals as far as handling any type of adversity that comes their way.”

New York hosts the Calgary Flames on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SNW, MSG+, MSG+2, ESPN+, NHL LIVE).

“Right now, there’s a total preparation for getting ready for tomorrow night,” Lamoriello said. “We had a good skate today, good meetings and we’re just going along on a normal process. There’s nothing we can control.”


Montreal Canadiens

Cole Caufield returned to the lineup in a 6-0 loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday.

The 20-year-old forward had one shot on goal and was minus-3 in 15:21 of ice time after he was recalled from Laval of the American Hockey League.

Caufield, who had one assist in 10 games with the Canadiens before being sent to the AHL on Nov. 1, scored five points (four goals, one assist) in 10 games last season and 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 20 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help Montreal reach the Cup Final, where they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games.


Florida Panthers

Joe Thornton returned to the lineup in a 4-1 win against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.

The forward had been out since Oct. 29 because of an undisclosed injury. He had one shot on goal in 12:50 of ice time.

Thornton has one goal in seven games this season.


Arizona Coyotes

Conor Timmins is out for the season after having knee surgery.

The defenseman was expected to be sidelined 8-12 weeks after he was injured in a 5-3 loss at the Florida Panthers on Oct. 25.

Timmins did not score a point in six games this season.

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