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Canadiens coach Ducharme isolating after COVID testing

MONTREAL (AP) — Montreal Canadiens interim coach Dominique Ducharme has been sent home and is isolating following COVID-19 testing irregularities.

The Canadiens canceled Ducharme’s pregame news conference Friday. The club says it will provide another update before Game 3 of the NHL semifinal against the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday night at the Bell Centre.

The Canadiens say Ducharme will undergo further tests before the game. The team says Ducharme received his second dose of COVID-19 vaccine on June 9.

The Canadiens and Golden Knights are tied 1-1 in the best-of-seven series after Montreal earned a split at Vegas with a 3-2 win in Game 2.

Ducharme was promoted to interim head coach from assistant after the firing of Claude Julien on Feb. 24.

Under Ducharme, the Canadiens finished fourth in the all-Canadian North Division before upsetting Toronto and Winnipeg in the first two playoff rounds.

The Golden Knights have already seen this scenario play out in this postseason. Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar missed a morning skate because of a COVID-19 testing irregularity. He was then cleared to coach in Game 6 of the second-round series against Vegas.

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