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Capitals, Wizards postpone games after warnings

A zamboni prepares the ice in and empty Verizon Center before an NHL hockey game between the Washington Capitals and the Buffalo Sabres, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, in Washington. The Capitals won 5-2. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

UPDATE 1:47 p.m.: Friday’s Caps game has been postponed. No makeup date has been announced yet. A decision regarding Sunday’s game vs. Pittsburgh will be announced Saturday morning. Saturday’s Wizards game has also been postponed by the NBA. No date has been given for the rescheduled game.

WASHINGTON — With a severe winter storm descending on the Washington area, many weekend sporting events have been moved up or rescheduled. The Washington Capitals bumped their 7 p.m. start time for Friday’s home game at the Verizon Center against the Anaheim Ducks up to 5 p.m., but D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMA) has encouraged them to cancel the game.

“We’ve talked to all of these organizers and we have told them that we are telling our residents, the folks here in the city, to be off the streets by three o’clock,” said HSEMA director Chris Geldart. “If the Capitals decide to bring their players in and put them in danger like that, and the other folks do the same, I cannot tell the NHL or the NBA what to do with that, but I highly encourage them not to have those games.”

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier told WTOP that police may not support Friday’s Caps games with officers, as the blizzard will “come fast and furious.”

Metro service is scheduled to shut down at 11 p.m. Friday and not return online until late Sunday.

The Washington Wizards have a home game against the Utah Jazz at Verizon Center scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Players have reportedly been told the game will be canceled, but the team has not made an announcement yet.

Complicating matters for both teams is the fact that both opponents are from the Western Conference, and neither is scheduled to visit Washington again this season. The Ducks have an East Coast road trip that includes games in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia in early February. The Jazz also come east one more time, with a late-February/early-March swing through Boston and Toronto.

The Caps also have a home game against Pittsburgh scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Sunday, which is slated for the NBC national television slot.

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