The Washington Capitals announced on Monday that center Lars Eller has been placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
This is the second time that the 32-year-old has been placed in protocol this season. He tested positive on November 16, which forced him to miss six games.
Eller currently remains in Vancouver, where the Capitals last played. He scored the overtime game-winning goal in the game. Eller was stuck in Anaheim for 10 days in November when he tested positive there.
Per an NHL’s press release from last season, the reason a player is listed as “unavailable” due to COVID-19 protocol includes: (1) an initial positive test which remains unconfirmed until confirmatory testing is completed; (2) mandated isolation for symptomatic individuals; (3) required quarantine as a high-risk close contact; (4) isolation based on a confirmed positive test result and/or; (5) quarantine for travel or other reasons.
Eller has collected nine goals and 23 points in 53 games this season and has averaged 1:39 on the penalty kill (third among Capitals forwards).
League protocols will keep Eller out for at least five days (where the Capitals play three times) unless it was a false positive test result.
Barring a call-up from the AHL’s Hershey Bears, right-wing Daniel Sprong is the only extra forward on the NHL roster so Connor McMichael may be required to move to center if Eller misses any time.
The Capitals host the New York Islanders on Tuesday (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market).
By Harrison Brown