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Golden Knights games rescheduled by NHL

The Golden Knights’ calendar got a few less blank spaces Wednesday.

Five games were rescheduled by the NHL, and one had a time change. The Knights’ four postponed games will be played in February, and another game was moved to February from April. The NHL’s decision not to play in the Winter Olympics left the team with no games from Feb. 1 to 25.

The Knights will visit Edmonton at 6 p.m. Feb. 8 and Calgary at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 9. The team was scheduled to visit both cities this month, but the games were postponed because of Canadian attendance restrictions.

The Knights will host Colorado at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 and Los Angeles at 7 p.m. Feb. 18. Both games were scheduled for December but pushed back when the NHL extended its holiday break. The team said ticket holders for those two games will receive an email regarding their purchase in the next 24 hours.

Along with the makeup dates, the Knights’ April trip to San Jose was moved to 5 p.m. Feb. 20. Their April 16 game at Edmonton was changed to 1 p.m. e N

The NHL announced leaguewide changes Wednesday after COVID-19 outbreaks and capacity restrictions wreaked havoc on the December and January calendar. New dates for 98 postponed games were given, and 23 games were moved, keeping the initial target date of April 29 for the end of the regular season. That would allow the playoffs to begin in early May as originally planned.

The Knights, who at 40 games played are one behind league leaders Anaheim, Nashville and Tampa Bay, were one of the teams least affected.

“We are profoundly grateful to our fans for their support and understanding during a challenging time and to our clubs, the NHL Players’ Association and the players for their cooperation in a rescheduling of unprecedented logistical complexity,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said.

Martinez can’t help himself

Defenseman Alec Martinez, who hasn’t played since Nov. 11 because of a facial laceration, an upper-body injury and COVID-19, practiced with the team in a noncontact jersey Wednesday.

That doesn’t mean he avoided all contact. Martinez, who led the league in blocked shots last season, got in front of a puck during a drill.

“He can’t help himself,” coach Pete DeBoer said. “It’s a great message to the other guys. When he can throw himself in front of a puck in practice in a noncontact jersey, there’s no excuse why guys can’t do it in games.”

Karlsson motivated for Thursday

Thursday marks the Montreal Canadiens’ return to T-Mobile Arena for the first time since they defeated the Knights in six games in the NHL semifinals last season.

Center William Karlsson said there’s not a rivalry with the Eastern Conference Canadiens like there is with Colorado and San Jose, but there’s still motivation.

“It was a tough loss obviously last season,” he said.

The Knights traveled to Montreal on Nov. 6 and won 5-2.

Odds and ends

— DeBoer said center Jack Eichel, recovering from neck surgery, will travel with the Knights on their trip that starts Monday in Washington. DeBoer said Eichel won’t play for another month to two months, but the travel will help him bond with teammates.

— Captain Mark Stone, left wing Jonathan Marchessault, defenseman Brayden McNabb and center Adam Brooks did not practice Wednesday. DeBoer said they were given maintenance days.

— Goaltender Laurent Brossoit (upper body) and defenseman Nic Hague (wrist) also didn’t practice.

Contact Ben Gotz at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.