Ducks coach Dallas Eakins tests positive for COVID-19

Anaheim Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins, top centre, looks on from the bench during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, in Washington. (Luis M. Alvarez/AP)

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Anaheim Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins will not be behind the bench for Friday night's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning after testing positive for COVID-19. Assistant coach Mike Stothers will run things in Eakins' absence.

Eakins is the third member of Anaheim's coaching staff in the NHL's health and safety protocols, joining assistants Geoff Ward and Joe Piscotty. The Ducks also have four players in protocols: Defencemen Cam Fowler and Josh Manson, right wing Troy Terry and backup goaltender Anthony Stolarz.

Terry, who was voted into the All-Star game earlier this week, has missed three games. Goalie John Gibson, Anaheim's other All-Star selection, returned Wednesday after missing five games due to COVID-19.

"It's not the ideal situation, but every team has dealt with it. We're just going to do the best we can and weather the storm," Stothers said.

Anaheim was leading the Pacific Division in late December but has dropped four straight and gone 2-7-1 in its last 10 games. The Ducks are tied for second in the division with the Los Angeles Kings at 45 points.

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