Thursday March 31st, 2016

By Brian Rauf, Chat Sports

The Stanley Cup playoffs are fast approaching with less than two weeks remaining in the regular season, and the postseason field is starting to take shape. The Philadelphia Flyers gained sole possession of the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with a shootout win over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night.

The Ottawa Senators were eliminated from playoff contention despite defeating the Winnipeg Jets 2–1, marking the first time in NHL history that no Canadian team will make the playoffs.

Check out the latest NHL news and rumors below.

• The NHL Department of Player Safety announced they have offered Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith an in-person hearing, suggesting he may be suspended for the start of the playoffs for swinging his stick at the face of Minnesota’s Chris Coyle.

• The Florida Panthers are hoping injured center Vincent Trocheck can return for the playoffs after sustaining a foot injury in Tuesday’s loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, reports ESPN.

Chat Sports: NHL power rankings

• Boston Bruins forward Brett Connolly is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury, reports CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty.

• Vancouver Canucks rookie Jake Virtanen has been suspended two games for his late hit on San Jose Sharks defenseman Roman Polak, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced.

• Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner is out for the season after having successful surgery on his right ankle, the team announced.

• Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey plans to sign with the Bruins this offseason, reports the Boston Herald’s Stephen Harris. Vesey announced earlier this week that he would not sign with the Nashville Predators, who drafted him in 2012.

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

• The Anaheim Ducks announced they have signed St. Cloud State forward Kalle Kossila, the NCAA’s fifth-leading scorer, to a two-year deal.

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