The Ottawa Senators are getting closer to returning to the ice after removing eight players from COVID protocol on Saturday morning. 

The players include forwards Connor BrownAustin WatsonAlex FormentonDylan Gambrell and defencemen Nick Holden, Victor Mete, Josh Brown as well as goalie Matt Murray.

Associate coach Jack Capuano was also removed from protocol. 

The league announced Friday that Ottawa's game at New Jersey originally scheduled for Tuesday night will now take place Dec. 6 at the Prudential Center in Newark.

The Senators and the NHL announced Monday that the game at New Jersey, as well as home games Thursday against Nashville and Saturday against the New York Rangers, would be postponed as the team tried to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

At the time the Senators had 10 players and an assistant coach in the league's COVID-19 protocol.

Make-up dates for the home games against Nashville and New York have not yet been announced.

The Senators are scheduled to return to action Monday at Colorado.