Wednesday March 16th, 2016

By Brian Rauf, Chat Sports

The 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs are less than a month away and the wild-card race is entering its final few games. The Washington Capitals became the first team to clinch a playoff spot with a 2–1 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, which also made the Capitals the first team to reach 50 wins this season.

Check out the latest NHL news and rumors below.

• The Montreal Canadiens are expected to keep head coach Michel Therrien for next season, reports TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie.

• Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said there’s a “very realistic” possibility that forward Jonathan Drouin gets recalled this season, reports ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun. Drouin had demanded a trade after being sent down to the AHL earlier this season, then was suspended indefinitely for failing to report to an AHL game.

Chat Sports: NHL power rankings

• Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien will be a game-time decision Wednesday with the flu, reports the Winnipeg Free Press.

• The NHL Department of Player Safety announced it has suspended Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Dalton Prout for one game for sucker-punching Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov.

• The NHL’s goaltending supervisor Kay Whitmore said the league is going to shrink the size of goalie equipment next year, reports The Canadian Press.

• Arizona Coyotes forward Dylan Strome has been named the No. 1 prospect by The Hockey News, reports The Arizona Republic’s Sarah McLellan.

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

• The Philadelphia Flyers will host the 2016 CCM All-American Prospects Game on Sept. 22, USA Hockey announced.

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