Blackhawks

NHL Power Rankings: Bruins proving they're no fluke

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NHL Power Rankings: Bruins proving they're no fluke

The Bruins have earned at least a point in 14 of their last 15 games, and are now one point behind Montreal for the Atlantic Division lead with two games in hand.

Meanwhile in the West, the Blackhawks and Blues have each strung together three consecutive wins, battling for the No. 2 spot in the Central Division.

Check in with CSNChicago.com for updated rankings every Monday throughout the 2015-16 campaign. Here's where we're at so far: Preseason rankings | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10
 

Rank Team
Last Week Record/Comment
1 1

24-6-2, 50 points: The Capitals overcame a multi-goal deficit in consecutive games against the Lightning and Rangers to win their fifth straight contest.

2   2

24-7-2, 50 points: The Stars have played five Central Division opponents through their first 33 games of the season. Their next four games on the schedule: at Minnesota, vs. Chicago, at St. Louis, vs. St. Louis.

3 8

19-9-4, 42 points: The Bruins have picked up at least a point in 14 of their last 15 games, owning a plus-19 goal differential during that stretch.

4
 
3

20-10-2, 42 points: The Kings are 1-2-1 in their past four games following a six-game winning streak, perhaps gearing up for their next five games, all against division opponents.

5
 
7

20-11-4, 44 points: The Blackhawks have won seven of their last nine games, led by Corey Crawford, who leads the NHL with five shutouts, three of which have come in the last six games.

6   10

20-10-4, 44 points: The Blues rolled off three straight wins last week, two against division opponents and the third snapping Calgary's seven-game win streak.

7   4

18-11-5, 41 points: After a 10-game point streak, the Islanders have lost their last three games to Florida, Colorado and Arizona by a combined six goals.

8   5

20-11-3, 43 points: The Canadiens are 3-7-1 since Carey Price went down with an injury, and have allowed at least three goals in eight of those 11 games. To make things more difficult, their next seven games are on the road.

9   6

17-9-7, 41 points: Entering December, the Red Wings sat 11 points behind Montreal for the Atlantic Division lead. As of Monday, they're two points behind with a game in hand.

10   11

17-8-6, 40 points: The Wild have earned at least a point in nine of their last 10 games. A tough slate of games ahead: vs. Dallas, vs. Montreal, vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Detroit, at St. Louis.

11   17

18-12-4, 40 points: The Panthers have outscored their opponents by 11 during their four-game winning streak.

12   13

17-12-5, 39 points: Erik Karlsson has 37 points in 34 games so far this season, on pace to shatter last year's total of 66 points, which led all defensemen.

13   15

17-14-3, 37 points: Steven Stamkos snapped a 10-game goal drought by scoring three goals in his past two games.

14
 
9

19-12-4, 42 points: The Rangers have allowed at least five goals in their last three games (17 combined goals). They allowed just five or more goals only three times in their first 32 games.

15
 
12

16-11-6, 38 points: The Predators are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games, and have slipped to the fifth spot in the Central Division.

16   19

14-12-7, 35 points: Jakub Voracek has two goals and four assists during his four-game point streak after being held pointless in his previous three games.

17   16

16-13-5, 37 points: The Devils have scored just one goal in each of their last three games, where they've gone 0-2-1.

18   20

16-15-2, 34 points: The Sharks improved their road record to 12-6-2 after going 2-1-1 in their first four games of a five-game road trip.

19
 
26

17-16-1, 35 points: The Avalanche have allowed only five goals during their five-game winning streak, which includes wins over division opponents Nashville, St. Louis and Chicago.

20
 
18

15-15-2, 32 points: The Jets are 3-10-0 against divisional opponents, which isn't helping a team that has slipped to the basement of the Central.

21
 
14

15-14-3, 33 points: The Penguins are winless (0-4-0) in four games under new coach Mike Sullivan, and will now be without Sidney Crosby, who's day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

22   22 13-15-5, 31 points: The Hurricanes are 5-2-1 in their last eight games, yet haven't gained much ground in the Metropolitan Division.
23   21 12-14-9, 33 points: After a road contest against Tampa Bay on Tuesday, the Canucks will play their next seven games at home, where they are 4-6-3.
24   24

14-18-2, 30 points: The Oilers have dropped their last three contests by a combined 10 goals after winning six straight contests.

25   23

12-14-5, 29 points: The Ducks were shut out for the seventh time this season following Thursday's 3-0 loss to Buffalo.

26   27

15-15-2, 32 points: The Coyotes are 2-1-1 since it was announced that Mike Smith will miss the next 8-10 weeks with a core muscle injury.

27   25

15-16-2, 32 points: A seven-game winning streak wasn't enough to remove the Flames from the Western Conference basement. Good news is, their next five games are at home, where they are 10-5-0 this season compared to 5-11-2 on the road.

28   28

14-16-4, 32 points: A demoralizing 3-2 shootout loss to the Blackhawks after leading in the final minute of regulation is how the Sabres are entering a six-day holiday break.

29   29

11-13-7, 29 points: Jonathan Bernier shut out his former team Los Angeles to earn his first win since April 5th.

30   30

13-19-3, 29 points: A highlight during a down season: 21-year-old rookie goaltender Joonas Korpisalo registered his first career win in a 3-2 shootout victory against Philadelphia on Saturday.

*Advanced stats courtesy of war-on-ice.com

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

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AP

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

It was a rare sight to see the Blackhawks in a shootout on Wednesday night.

It was just the second time this season — and first time at the United Center — that the Blackhawks made it past 3-on-3 overtime. 

The last came on Dec. 2, 2017, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Stars in Dallas. On Wednesday night, the Blackhawks were on the other end, beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in a seven-round shootout. Nick Schmaltz netted the game-winner.

"We'll take it," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we had a decent game tonight. Overtime not so good, I liked the shootout victory, Fors made some big saves for us particularly as the game got deeper. Our third was OK, I thought our first two were way better, and overtime we gave up some high quality, some bells were rings for a bit there. But it was nice to see the shootout win."

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, recording another multi-point game, his 16th of the season.

"I mean we need every point we can get at this point," Kane said. "There's still belief in this locker room. Obviously we need to go on quite a run and have a big record here down the stretch. But take it a game at a time and nice to get two points."

Anton Forsberg was a big reason the Blackhawks even recorded those two points. The 25-year-old netminder stopped 34 of 36 shots and made a handful of big saves down the stretch.

"It was really nice to get a win for sure," Forsberg said. "I would love to have a lot more wins, but right now just gotta look forward and get as many wins as possible."

Added Quenneville: "I think it was good for him to win a game the way he did. Lot of shots were on the line, as we progressed, got deeper, hitting the point first was big for him and for us and then finding a way to get the extra one was a good win."

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?