The Los Angeles Kings are scheduled to resume play Tuesday evening by playing host to the Vegas Golden Knights in their first game at the renamed Crypto.com Arena following three coronavirus-related postponements.
The game is also the Kings’ first game under the arena’s revised health and safety guidelines. All fans age 2 and over are required to present either proof of full vaccination (two weeks since the final dose) or a negative COVID-19 test within one day of the game for an antigen test or two days for a PCR test before entering the arena.
The game will be the Kings’ first since Dec. 19 when they defeated the Washington Capitals, 3-2, in Washington.
Their game against Edmonton planned for last Wednesday was postponed after the NHL and its players union announced Dec. 19 that all games involving a Canadian-based team playing a U.S.-based team through last Thursday’s planned start of the holiday break would be postponed and rescheduled due to COVID-19 issues.
The NHL announced Dec. 20 it would begin its holiday break two days earlier than planned at the conclusion of last Tuesday’s play because of the significant increase of players landing in the league’s COVID-19 protocol. The earlier start to the holiday break meant the Kings’ road game against Vegas scheduled for Thursday would be postponed.
The NHL on Friday pushed the target date for resumption of games one day to Tuesday to allow the league an adequate opportunity to analyze league-wide coronavirus testing results and assess teams’ readiness to play.
The Kings had been scheduled to resume play Monday with a game at Arizona.
The NHL has postponed 70 games because of coronavirus issues, with one made up and one rescheduled.
The NHL announced Dec. 22 its players would not participate in the 2022 Beijing Olympics because of the disruption to the regular-season schedule caused by COVID-19 postponements. It had scheduled a break in the regular season from Feb. 3-22 to accommodate the 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas and the Olympics.
The All-Star Weekend remains scheduled as planned, with the 2022 NHL All-Star Skills set for Feb. 4 and All-Star Game Feb. 5. The planned Feb. 6-22 Olympic break will instead be used to reschedule postponed games.
The NHL and the NHL Players’ Association agreed Sunday to allow teams to have a taxi squad with a maximum of six players available to be added to the roster to minimize the chance for further game postponements or teams having to play shorthanded.
Southern California’s other NHL team, the Anaheim Ducks, are scheduled to resume play Wednesday against the Vancouver Canucks at Honda Center following four coronavirus-related postponements.