NHL Power Rankings: Islanders battling for top seed in East


NHL Power Rankings: Islanders battling for top seed in East

The Islanders haven't lost a game in regulation since Nov. 22, compiling a record of 8-0-2 in their last 10 games to climb into contention for the No. 1 seed in the East.

Meanwhile in the West, the Kings and Stars continue to pull away for their respective divisions and the Blackhawks have tied the Blues for second place in the Central.

Check in with 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


Rank Team
Last Week Record/Comment
1 1

20-6-2, 42 points: An important stretch coming up for the Capitals as their next 14 games will be against Eastern Conference opponents, half of them against divisional foes.

2   2

22-6-2, 46 points: After being held pointless in three straight games, Jamie Benn exploded for a season-high four-point night in a win over Carolina last week.

3 4

19-8-2, 40 points: Jonathan Quick is 7-0-1 in his last eight games, and has allowed just 13 goals in those contests.

4   6

18-8-5, 41 points: The Islanders are 7-0-2 against teams in their division, and have picked up at least a point in 10 straight games.

5 3

20-8-3, 43 points: The Canadiens had four regulations losses in their first 26 games. They have four regulation losses in their last five games.

6 7

16-8-6, 38 points: The Red Wings are 8-2-5 since Pavel Datsyuk returned to the lineup, and have picked up a point in each of their last 10 games. 


17-10-4, 38 points: Corey Crawford was named the NHL's first star of the week after going 3-0-0 with a 0.33 goals against average, .989 save percentage and two shutouts.

8 8

16-9-3, 35 points: The Bruins will play eight of their next 10 games at home, where they are 6-7-1 this season compared to 10-2-2 on the road.

9   5

18-9-4, 40 points: After starting the season on a 16-3-2 run, the Rangers are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games.

10 10

17-10-4, 38 points: The Blues have killed off 21 consecutive penalties, and have emerged as the league's top PK unit at 87.7 percent.

11 12

15-7-6, 36 points: The Wild are 4-0-2 in their last six games, which includes three shutout victories and a 2-1 win in Chicago.

12 15

15-10-5, 35 points: Despite sitting in the middle of the pack in goals per game (2.60), the Predators are the second-best puck possession team, controlling 54.7 percent of even-strength shot attempts.

13 11

15-10-5, 35 points: The Senators allowed 27 shots in the first period against Montreal over the weekend, which didn't help their league-worst average of 33.9 shots against per game.

14 13 

15-10-3, 33 points: The Penguins have officially seen enough of Mike Johnston and have given the keys to Mike Sullivan, who GM Jim Rutherford said reminds him of Peter Laviolette.

15 14 

14-13-3, 31 points: The Lightning are slowly trending in the right direction, winning three of their last five games and outshooting Washington by 16 in Saturday's 2-1 loss.

16 18 

15-11-4, 34 points: The Devils haven't had back-to-back wins in a month, but they keep finding ways to grab points in losses.

17   17

14-12-4, 32 points: Jaromir Jagr scored his 731st career NHL goal on Thursday, which ties him with Marcel Dionne for fourth-most goals of all-time.

18 20 

14-14-2, 30 points: Mathieu Perreault had an impressive four-point night in Thursday's win over Columbus, giving him six multipoint games on the season.

19 24

12-12-6, 30 points: After potting a goal against St. Louis last week, Claude Giroux has officially scored against each of the 29 teams he's faced in his career. 

20 16

14-14-1, 29 points: In his second game back from a fractured right fibula, Logan Couture will be out for roughly five games after undergoing surgery to repair "small arterial bleed." Tough blow for a team already trending in the wrong direction.

21 23

11-12-8, 30 points: Daniel Sedin is quietly ranked fifth in the NHL's scoring race with 33 points.

22 25 12-14-4, 28 points: All 12 of Justin Faulk's goals have come on the power play, which leads the league. Aside from Shea Weber (8), no other defenseman has more than four power-play goals this season.
23 19

11-13-5, 27 points: The Ducks had four days to prepare for Carolina and still lost 5-1, which closed out their six-game homestand. 

24 26

13-15-2, 28 points: Taylor Hall has nine points (five goals, four assists) in his last four games, bumping his point total to 34, which ranks fourth among all players. He's also tied for the league lead in game-winning goals (5).

25 28

13-14-2, 28 points: After scoring just five goals in his first 24 games, Johnny Gaudreau has seven goals in his last five contests, guiding the Flames to five straight wins, each of which have been decided by one goal (three ending in regulation or shootout).

26 27

14-16-1, 29 points: Gabriel Landeskog had four goals in his first three games of the season. He has just three goals in the 25 games since then.

27 22 

14-14-2, 27 points: The roller-coaster season continues for the Coyotes, who have only one win in the month of December.

28 21

12-15-3, 27 points: Rasmus Ristolainen became the first defenseman in Sabres history to net a hat trick in a single period during a loss to Calgary on Thursday.

29   29

10-13-5, 25 points: Jonathan Bernier is 3-0-1 with a 1.25 goals against average, .948 save percentage and three shutouts during his AHL conditioning stint.

30 30

11-17-3, 25 points: The Blue Jackets have one win in their last seven games, and are 0-1-2 since it was announced that Sergei Bobrovsky will miss the next three weeks with a lower body injury.

*Advanced stats courtesy of

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

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

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?