The Montreal Canadiens have announced that they will play tonight’s home game against the Philadelphia Flyers without fans in the arena.
This marks the first time this season that an NHL game will be played without fans in attendance.
The announcement comes just a few hours before the game was set to begin.
Here’s the statement from the Habs:
“Faced with the spiralling rise of COVID-19 cases in the region, late this afternoon the Montreal Canadiens organization received a request from Quebec public health officials to host tonight’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers in a closed setting with no fans in attendance at the Bell Centre.
“We have accepted this request in order to help ensure the safety and security of our fans and fellow citizens throughout our community. An update on the status of Saturday’s scheduled game against the Boston Bruins will be provided tomorrow.
“We have obtained assurances that beginning with our games in January, we will return to a partial capacity scenario and be able to host fans once more. More details will follow in the days to come and as the portrait of this ever-evolving pandemic becomes clearer.
“In the interim, we would continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated, get their booster shots when possible, and be responsible with their social and family gatherings throughout the holidays. We hope that with rigour and a collective effort from all of us, we will be able to come together in a near future in 2022.”