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NHL returns after months-long hiatus due to COVID-19

Last Updated Jul 28, 2020 at 12:27 pm EDT

FILE - In this March 12, 2020, file photo, goals used by the NHL hockey club Nashville Predators are stored in a hallway in Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

EDMONTON – NHL hockey returns Tuesday after a months-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Montreal Canadiens are in Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs and the Edmonton Oilers meet the Calgary Flames at Rogers Place as part of a three-game exhibition schedule that kicks off Phase 4 of the league’s return-to-play plan.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers square off in Toronto in Tuesday’s other game.

The Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets square off in their exhibition match on Thursday.

Edmonton and Toronto are serving as hub cities for the 24 NHL teams that are returning to action, though the Canadiens and Flames are listed as the home teams.

Each team will play an exhibition game at Scotiabank Arena or Rogers Place over the next few days before the playoff qualification round begins on Saturday.

The NHL suspended its season March 12 due to the spreading global pandemic and announced its four-stage return plan May 26.