Islanders left wing Matt Martin sets before a face-off against...

Islanders left wing Matt Martin sets before a face-off against the Sharks in the first period of an NHL game at UBS Arena on Dec. 2. Credit: AP/Ryan Remiorz

The Islanders won’t face the Montreal Canadiens as scheduled on Monday night at UBS Arena. The NHL and NHL Players’ Association announced jointly on Sunday that cross-border games will be postponed through the league’s three-day holiday break, which starts Friday.

But the NHL and NHLPA also announced that the season will continue despite league-wide COVID-19 outbreaks, with any shutdowns being determined on a team-by-team basis.

Islanders coach Barry Trotz favors that course of action.

"I think if you can play on, you play on," Trotz said after Sunday afternoon’s 4-3 shootout loss to visiting Vegas. "No one felt sorry for us when we had all the COVID cases. I think us and Ottawa were the guinea pigs at the start to get some data on all of this."

The Islanders had two games postponed on Nov. 28-30 when they had eight players unavailable.

"You won’t be able to fit all the games in," Trotz said. "We’re one of the teams that’s played the least. You shut us down, we’re going to end up playing 23 games in 30 nights, and that’s not fair to the athletes. It’s not fair to the league. It’s not fair to the fans. The league’s doing what’s right."

The decision on cross-border games also impacts the Rangers, who were to play the Canadiens on Tuesday.

Matt Martin and defenseman Robin Salo were placed on the Islanders’ COVID-19 protocol list before Sunday’s game, joining Mathew Barzal, who tested positive on Tuesday.

Isles files

Defenseman Andy Greene was honored in a pregame ceremony for playing in his 1,000th game on Nov. 15 at Tampa Bay with video tributes from current and former teammates with the Islanders and Devils . . . Cal Clutterbuck played in his 900th regular-season game, becoming the fifth active Islander to reach that milestone . . . Kyle Palmieri missed his first game with a lower-body injury. Trotz said it is doubtful that he will play against the visiting Capitals on Thursday.

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