Wednesday March 9th, 2016

By Tom Downey, Chat Sports
The NHL playoffs start in just over a month, with the remaining games playing a critical role in the postseason picture. The Dallas Stars hold a one-point lead over the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference, while the Washington Capitals have a substantial lead in the Eastern Conference. 
Check out the latest NHL news and rumors below.
• New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak left his team’s game against the Penguins on Tuesday. He did not return and it’s unclear how severe the injury is.
• The Montreal Canadiens announced that forward Brendan Gallagher will miss two to three weeks with a lower body injury. Gallagher was injured Saturday and sat out Tuesday’s game. 
• Chat Sports: NHL power rankings
• The Dallas Stars likely won’t have defenseman Jason Demers for the rest of the season, reports. Coach Lindy Ruff said he doubts Demers will be able to play this season. 
• Jonathan Drouin’s suspension with the Tampa Bay Lighting is over. He reported to the team’s AHL affiliate and told CBC he’s eager to get back on the ice
• The Chicago Blackhawks announced that they signed forward Marcus Kruger to a three-year contract extension. TSN reports the contract is worth $9.25 million. 
• Maple Leafs defenseman Matt Hunwick’s season is over, reports TSN. Hunwick will undergo a season-ending sports hernia surgery. 
Chat Sports: More NHL news and rumors inside the Chat Sports app
• The Carolina Hurricanes announced that they signed University of New Hampshire forward Andrew Poturalski to a two-year contract. Poturalski was second in the NCAA in the scoring this year.

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