NHL players are discussing options to protest racial injustice after the NBA and other professional sports leagues postponed games, according to a person with knowledge of those talks.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity early Thursday because those discussions were private. The subject rose to the forefront as multiple leagues called off games and two prominent Black NHL players expressed frustration that the predominantly white league went ahead Wednesday with two games preceded by moments of reflection.
Minnesota’s Matt Dumba and San Jose’s Evander Kane, founding members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, criticized the NHL for going ahead with games while every NBA playoff game, plus three in Major League Baseball and others in Major League Soccer and the WNBA, were postponed. Players in those leagues were protesting the shooting by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, of Jacob Blake, a Black man.
Reached Wednesday night before Tampa Bay-Boston began and after the NBA’s decision, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said postponing games was not currently being contemplated. Daly added, “Obviously, we will see if the players feel differently and will respond appropriately and as necessary.”
The NHL Players’ Association is having those discussions ahead of two games scheduled for Thursday.
Boston captain Zdeno Chara expressed support for NBA players but said it was too close to the 8 p.m. game time for players to have a serious discussion about not taking the ice.
“We were just getting ready,” Chara said after Game 3 against Tampa Bay. “But we support the fight against racism and injustice. There’s different ways to express that fight and, obviously, NBA players expressed their opinions by boycotting the games today, so we support it.”
Flyers 4, N.Y. Islanders 3/OT: Phillippe Myers scored 2:40 into overtime to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Wednesday, tying the second-round playoff series at a game apiece.
The Islanders overcame a 3-0 first-period deficit, with Jean-Gabriel Pageau getting the tying goal with 2:09 left in regulation.
Myers ended it quickly, connecting on a shot from the right point that glanced off the stick of the Islanders’ Anders Lee on the way in.
Kevin Hayes scored twice in the first period for Philadelphia, Sean Couturier also had a goal, and Carter Hart made 31 saves.
Lee and Anthony Beauvillier also scored for the Islanders. Semyon Varlamov had seven saves before he was benched late in the first period. Thomas Greiss finished with 20 stops the rest of the way.
Lightning 7, Bruins 1: Ondrej Palat, Mikhail Sergachev and Alex Killorn scored power-play goals to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Killorn finished with two goals and an assist, Nikita Kucherov had a goal and three assists, and Sergachev and Brayden Point each added a goal and two assists. Palat and Yanni Gourde had a goal and an assist each. Andrei Vasilevskiy had 23 saves.
The Lightning ended an 0-for-16 drought in man-advantage situations that began in Game 1 of Tampa Bay’s first-round victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Brad Marchand had his fourth goal of the series for Boston, scoring on the power play at 4:56 of the second period. Jaroslav Halak was pulled after giving up four goals on 16 shots. He was replaced by 23-year-old Dan Vladar, who stopped 12 of the 15 shots he faced in his NHL playoff debut.
NHL playoff glance
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
No. 6 N.Y. Islanders 1, No. 1 Philadelphia 1
Monday, Aug. 24: N.Y. Islanders 4, Philadelphia 0
Wednesday, Aug. 26: Philadelphia 4, N.Y. Islanders 3, OT
Thursday, Aug. 27: Philadelphia vs. N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 29: Philadelphia vs. N.Y. Islanders, noon
Monday, Aug. 31: N.Y. Islanders vs. Philadelphia, TBD
x-Wednesday, Sept. 2: Philadelphia vs. N.Y. Islanders, TBD
x-Thursday, Sept. 3: N.Y. Islanders vs. Philadelphia, TBD
No. 2 Tampa Bay 2, No. 4 Boston 1
Sunday, Aug. 23: Boston 3, Tampa Bay 2
Tuesday, Aug. 25 : Tampa Bay 4, Boston 3, OT
Wednesday, Aug. 26: Tampa Bay 7, Boston 1
Friday, Aug. 28: Tampa Bay vs. Boston, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 30: Boston vs. Tampa Bay, 8 p.m.
x-Tuesday, Sept. 1: Tampa Bay vs. Boston, TBD
x-Wednesday, Sept. 2: Boston vs. Tampa Bay, TBD
WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
No. 1 Las Vegas 1, No. 5 Vancouver 1
Sunday, Aug. 23: Las Vegas 5, Vancouver 0
Tuesday, Aug. 25: Vancouver 5, Las Vegas 2
Thursday, Aug. 27: Las Vegas vs. Vancouver, 9:45 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 29: Las Vegas vs. Vancouver, 8 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 31: Vancouver vs. Las Vegas, TBD
x-Tuesday, Sept. 1: Las Vegas vs. Vancouver, TBD
x-Thursday, Sept. 3: Vancouver vs. Las Vegas, TBD
No. 3 Dallas 2, No. 2 Colorado 1
Saturday, Aug. 22: Dallas 5,Colorado 3
Monday, Aug. 24: Dallas 5, Colorado 2
Wednesday, Aug. 26: Colorado 6, Dallas 4
Friday, Aug. 28: Colorado vs. Dallas, 10 p.m.
x-Sunday, Aug. 30: Dallas vs. Colorado, TBD
x-Monday, Aug. 31: Colorado vs. Dallas, TBD
x-Wednesday, Sept. 2: Dallas vs. Colorado, TBD