Leafs-Senators game postponed because of shootings on Parliament Hill in Ottawa


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Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Joffrey Lupul (19) and New York Islanders left wing Matt Martin (17) collide during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Uniondale, N.Y., Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Police teams enter Centre Block at Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday Oct. 22, 2014. A soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial was shot by an unknown gunman and people reported hearing gunfire inside the halls of Parliament. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was rushed away from Parliament Hill to an undisclosed location, according to officials. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Justin Tang)

OTTAWA, Ontario — The NHL postponed Wednesday night's game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Senators because of the shootings in Ottawa.

A Canadian soldier standing guard at a war memorial in the country's capital was shot to death Wednesday, and gunfire then erupted inside Parliament, authorities said.

The game was scheduled at the Canadian Tire Centre in nearby Kanata.

"We are shocked and deeply saddened by today's tragic events on Parliament Hill and in downtown Ottawa," Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said in a statement. "Our collective thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims as well as with all members of Parliament and staff who have had to manage through today's difficult circumstances.

"Hockey is certainly secondary to these types of tragic events and we know our fans stand alongside us with the league's decision to postpone tonight's game."

The NHL said the date and time of the rescheduled game will be announced at a later date.

"The National Hockey League wishes to express its sympathy and prayers to all affected by the tragic events in Ottawa," the league said in a statement.

A Maple Leafs spokesman said the team was safe at its hotel, which is not far from Parliament Hill.

"Surreal scene outside of our hotel right now," Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul tweeted. "Lot of very brave police officers we should all be very proud of."

The Maple Leafs said in a statement: "We have been witness today to some terrible events but are thankful to those brave men and women for their tireless service in protecting everyone's safety."

The Leafs, who played the Islanders Tuesday night in New York, did not have a morning skate at Canadian Tire Centre. The Senators skated at the arena, which is about 30 minutes from downtown.

"Makes me sad what's going on in Ottawa right now," Senators captain Erik Karlsson tweeted. "Thoughts and prays to everyone involved. Everybody stay safe."

Senators veteran Chris Phillips tweeted: "Heartfelt thanks to all first responders for putting their safety on the line for ours. OttawaStrong."

The Senators' next home game is scheduled for Saturday against the New Jersey Devils.

It's the second time in less than two years that the NHL has postponed a game because of an attack in the city. In April 2013, the Senators were scheduled to play the Bruins after the Boston Marathon bombing. Those teams made up the game the day after the regular season ended.

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