(Photo: Brian Fluharty / USA TODAY Sports)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

The National Hockey League announced Friday that it has postponed the Boston Bruins games against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, Mar. 20, and against the New York Islanders on Tuesday, Mar. 23. Four additional Bruins players have entered the league’s COVID-19 protocol.

Pending test results in the coming days, it is expected that the Bruins will be able to re-open their facilities for practice on Wednesday, Mar. 24,” The league and Boston said in a statement. “The decision was made by the League’s, NHLPA’s and Club’s medical groups.”

The Bruins did not hold their pregame skate on Thursday ahead of their 4-1 win over the Sabres at KeyBank Center after forward Sean Kuraly entered the league’s protocol. John Shannon, formerly of Sportsnet, had reported Thursday’s game between Boston and Buffalo had also been postponed before reporting it in fact had not been called off.

Forwards Jake DeBrusk and Charlie Coyle had received false positive test results in recent weeks. Already marred by injuries, Boston also lost Trent Frederic during last night’s win after blocking a shot in the first period. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the game that Frederic’s X-rays were “negative” and that the rookie forward is “day-to-day.”

The Sabres have previously dealt with a coronavirus outbreak among the team. Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen was hit particularly hard, among others, sidelining him for an extended period of time.

The NHL, nor the Bruins, have said when the games against the Sabres and the Islanders will be rescheduled.