NHL schedule: League to pause season through holiday after Tuesday's Lightning-Golden Knights game amid COVID postponements

The Capitals vs. Flyers matchup and the meeting between Stanley Cup contenders Tampa Bay and Las Vegas are scheduled to be played before an extended holiday weekend
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The league has decided that it will pause the NHL schedule through Christmas Day after 11 teams were shut down because of COVID protocols. 

Tuesday night's game in Las Vegas is a matchup between Stanley Cup contenders. The Lightning vs. Golden Knights matchup at 10 p.m. ET will be the final game until after the holiday.

The Lightning and Golden Knights are among the Stanley Cup favorites in the latest NHL futures odds. Both are listed at +850 along with the Toronto Maple Leafs, behind only the Colorado Avalanche, who are the +550 favorite. Las Vegas is the -130 favorite for Tuesday's game.

The NHL paused team activities for four more teams Monday, with the Blue Jackets, Canadiens, Oilers and Senators the latest added to the lengthy list. They joined Calgary, Detroit, Toronto, Colorado, Florida, Nashville and Boston as teams that had to shut down.

There were 10 games on Tuesday's NHL schedule, but the Lightning vs. Golden Knights and the Capitals vs. Flyers matchup at 7 p.m. ET are the only games scheduled to be played.

The NHL estimates that more than 15 percent of its players are in COVID protocols as the Omicron variant continues to spread and disrupt the sports world. 

There were four games scheduled for Wednesday and 15 on the Thursday slate, but now the teams will pause before re-opening their facilities on Dec. 26.  

The Dec. 27 NHL schedule includes 14 games, with a few of them key matchups. Colorado is scheduled to visit Las Vegas on Monday at 10 p.m. ET, and fellow contenders Florida (+900) and Carolina (+1400) meet at 7 p.m. ET in Raleigh, N.C.  

The league has repeatedly said it will continue the 2021-22 season and address issues on a team-by-team basis. The NHL has no plans to restrict travel for players during the break but is asking them to avoid public spaces and wear masks indoors.

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SportsLine Staff