January 23, 2016 / 7:31 PM / 2 years ago

Winter snowstorm forces league to postpone three games

Jan 23, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; General view of snow on the Mario Lemieux statue outside before the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Vancouver Canucks at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Three National Hockey League games scheduled to be played this weekend have been postponed because of a severe winter snowstorm wreaking havoc on the East Coast of the United States, the league announced.

Record-setting tides higher than during Superstorm Sandy have already caused major flooding in New Jersey and Delaware after dumping nearly two feet (60 cm) of snow on the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

The game between the Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins, initially set for Sunday at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., has been rescheduled for a later date.

It is the second game in as many days the Capitals have had to push back after they were unable to host their scheduled Friday encounter with the Anaheim Ducks.

In another change, the New York Islanders have postponed their home game against the Philadelphia Flyers scheduled for Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

On Friday, the National Basketball Association postponed two games due to be held on Saturday because of severe weather warnings.

The matchup between the Boston Celtics and the 76ers in Philadelphia, where up to 18 inches (45 cm) of snow has been forecast, was shifted to Sunday at 1900 ET (0000 GMT).

The game between the Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards in the U.S. capital has been rescheduled for a later date.

The heaviest snow engulfed New York on Saturday and was not expected to stop until Sunday, when up to 30 inches (75 cm) may have piled up in the nation’s largest city, said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency, the 11th state to do so in order to get a handle on highways made impassable by the drifting snow and to shore up coastal areas where the blizzard conditions raised the danger of flooding.

Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Andrew Both

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