After the NBA's decision Wednesday night to suspend the season due to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, the NHL followed suit Thursday afternoon.
The NHL announced before Thursday's games that it would be pausing the season with the hope of resuming games when "appropriate and prudent."
Along with the NBA, MLB and NHL, most NCAA conference tournaments and the NCAA Tournament have been cancelled.
The NHL played Wednesday's contests, issuing the following statement as the league gathered more information on the matter.
"The National Hockey League is aware of the NBA's decision tonight to indefinitely suspend its season due to a player testing positive for the coronavirus," the NHL said in the statement. "The NHL is continuing to consult with medical experts and is evaluating the options. We expect to have a further update tomorrow."
The Islanders, Rangers, and Devils respectively have 14, 12 and 13 games left in the regular season. The Islanders and Rangers were in third and fourth, respectively, for the second Eastern Conference Wild Card spot. The Islanders and Rangers trail the Blue Jackets and Hurricanes atop the Wild Card standings.
The Rangers were coming off Wednesday's overtime loss to the Avalanche in Denver, while the Islanders and Devils had games set for Thursday. The Devils were set to host the Hurricanes at 7 p.m. at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and the Islanders were on the road against the Flames at 9 p.m. in Calgary.
The CDC notes that the coronavirus spreads between people in close contact with one another, typically within six feet, or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Spread is still possible before people show symptoms -- such as fever, cough and shortness of breath -- although that does not stand as the typical cause, according to the CDC.