The NHL postponed two games scheduled for Friday because of a major winter storm that began rolling across the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. and Canada, bringing blizzard conditions and bone-chilling temperatures.Buffalo's home game against Tampa Bay was postponed on Wednesday, and a day later the NHL postponed Detroit's visit to Ottawa until Feb. 27.
The league's Christmas break begins on Saturday. The strength of the storm had the potential of cutting into Tampa Bay players' mandated days off had the team been stranded in Buffalo on Friday, when the brunt of the storm is expected to hit the region.
The Lightning's game against the Sabres has been rescheduled to March 4. The Sabres were originally scheduled to play the Philadelphia Flyers that day. The NHL has instead moved the Flyers game at Buffalo to Jan. 9.
Much of the country was bracing for a dangerous mix of sub-zero temperatures, high winds and blizzard conditions into the holiday weekend. Some parts of the U.S. could see wind chills approaching 70 degrees below zero (minus 57 Celsius). By Friday, the arctic front was expected to spread sharp cold as far south as Florida.
The daunting forecast prompted a number of schools to move up tipoff times for college basketball games while at least a dozen others were canceled or postponed, including Omaha at Iowa State and No. 17 Wisconsin's home game Friday against Grambling on the men's side. Drake's game at No. 14 Iowa State on Thursday was among the women's games called off.
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