Thursday March 3rd, 2016

By Brian Rauf, Chat Sports

The NHL playoff race is heating up as we head into the last month of the season with many postseason spots still up for grabs. The Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks held onto their spots atop the Eastern and Western Conference with wins over the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings, respectively last night.

Check out the latest NHL news and rumors below.

• Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning said he received death threats following his hit on Edmonton Oilers rookie Connor McDavid to broke McDavid's collarbone in November, reports Philly.com's Sam Carchidi.

• Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is still hoping to play this season, reports the Columbus Dispatch's Todd Jones. He hasn’t played since Jan. 21 since suffering a groin injury.

Chat Sports: NHL Power Rankings: Trade Deadline Edition

• San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels has returned to practice after missing the last five games with a shoulder injury, but he will not play Thursday against the Vancouver Canucks, reports CSN Bay Area's Kevin Kurz.

• Arizona Coyotes forward Boyd Gordon is listed as day-to-day while recovering from a hand injury, reports the Arizona Republic's Sarah McLellan. He hasn’t played since Feb. 4.

• The Los Angeles Kings announced they have signed goalie Peter Budaj to a one-year contract extension.

Chat Sports: More NHL news and rumors inside the Chat Sports app

• Rosters for the eight teams playing in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey were released Wednesday. Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane headlines Team USA’s roster, while McDavid and Buffalo Sabres rookie Jack Eichel headline the North American U-23 team.

• The jerseys for the eight teams were also released during team announcement of Team USA’s roster on ESPN’s SportsCenter.

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