Monday April 4th, 2016

By Tom Downey, Chat Sports

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are nearly here. The regular season ends in less than a week, and time is running out for the teams fighting for a wild-card berth. There’s just a three-point difference between the New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins for the two wild card spots in the Eastern Conference.

The Minnesota Wild could have clinched a playoff berth in the Western Conference, but lost to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, 5–1.

Check out the latest NHL rumors below.

• Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos will miss one to three months with a blood clot in his arm, the team announced. Stamkos said he hopes to return during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

• With Stamkos out, the Lightning could promote Jonathan Drouin from the AHL. However, the Tampa Bay Times reports there won’t be any immediate call-up, and Drouin is currently day-to-day with a lower body injury.

• Amid a report that Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk could leave for Russia next season, his agent told the Detroit Free Press that Datsyuk is focused on the present, not the future. If Datsyuk does go to Russia, the Red Wings would still retain his $7.5 million cap hit.

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

• Goalie Jake Allen left the St. Louis Blues’ game Sunday after the first period. Coach Ken Hitchcock said that Allen was hurt, but there has not been a report on the extent of the injury.

• On Sunday, Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane became the first player this season to reach 100 points. He is the first American to reach the mark since the 1995–96 season.

• Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith won’t appeal his six-game suspension for hitting Minnesota Wild forward Charlie Coyle in the face with his stick, reports the Chicago Tribune. Keith said he called Coyle to apologize for his actions.

Chat Sports: NHL Power Rankings

• Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri met with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Monday. The meeting focused on his penalty for cross-checking Red Wings forward Luke Glendening during Saturday’s game. Kadri was suspended four games, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced.

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