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NHL games postponed through Friday

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images Sport / Getty

A day after an NBA player-led walkout forced the league to postpone games - and other leagues to do the same - in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake, the NHL is following suit.

NHL games will be delayed through Friday, the league announced Thursday.

"After much discussion, NHL players believe that the best course of action would be to take a step back and not play (Thursday's) and (Friday's) games as scheduled," the league and NHLPA said in a joint statement. "The NHL supports the players' decision and will reschedule those four games beginning Saturday and adjust the remainder of the second-round schedule accordingly.

"The NHL and NHLPA recognize that much work remains to be done before we can play an appropriate role in a discussion centered on diversity, inclusion, and social justice."

The NHL Coaches' Association later followed with a statement of its own, saying the group and its coaches "steadfastly support" the decision, while adding that "the time to listen has passed (and) action must be taken now."

The decision was particularly orchestrated by the Hockey Diversity Alliance, co-headed by Akim Aliu and Evander Kane. The group called upon the NHL to suspend Thursday's games.

The New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers were set for a Game 3 faceoff in their second-round series Thursday night, followed by the Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights' third tilt. On Friday evening, the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning were supposed to take the ice for their fourth matchup, right before Game 4 between the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars.

NHL games went ahead as scheduled Wednesday night despite the NBA and MLB player-inspired walkouts. After it became clear that the NHL contests would go on, Kane and Matt Dumba, another HDA member, criticized the league for not actively protesting racial injustice.

NHL games postponed through Friday
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