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, NHL.com 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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