NHL Power Rankings: Avalanche, Flames making playoff race interesting
NHL Power Rankings: Week 15
The Avalanche stretched their winning streak to six games while the Flames have won seven in a row, making things even more interesting in the Western Conference.
31. Arizona Coyotes (10-28-7, 27 points)
The Coyotes officially parted ways with Anthony Duclair by sending him to Chicago in exchange for Richard Panik, who they hope will benefit from a change of scenery. Panik registered an assist in his second game with the Coyotes on Saturday.
(Last week: 30)
30. Buffalo Sabres (11-24-9, 31 points)
The Sabres got a glimpse of their future in goal on Thursday when Linus Ullmark stopped 44 of 45 shots (.978 save percentage) in a 3-1 win over the Blue Jackets. It had to be refreshing to see a positive development with one of their prospects.
(Last week: 31)
29. Ottawa Senators (15-18-9, 39 points)
Mark Stone has 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) in 22 games at home this season. On the road, he has only 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 20 games. Last year he had more road points (28) than home (26) in one fewer road game.
(Last week: 27)
28. Montreal Canadiens (18-20-5, 41 points)
Since Carey Price returned from injury, he's started in all 20 games except one. The Canadiens are basically asking him to carry them into the playoffs.
(Last week: 26)
27. Edmonton Oilers (20-23-3, 43 points)
The Oilers lead the league in scoring chances (1,155), but they continue to lack the finish. It also doesn't help that they're 25th in scoring chances allowed (1,048).
(Last week: 29)
26. Vancouver Canucks (18-21-6, 42 points)
Alex Edler has five points (one goal, four assists) in his last four games. He had only five points (one goal, four assists) in his previous 16.
(Last week: 28)
25. Florida Panthers (18-19-6, 42 points)
Evgenii Dadonov has a point in four straight games after going pointless in his previous five. He also had his second multi-goal game this season in a 4-2 loss to Calgary on Friday.
(Last week: 25)
24. Detroit Red Wings (18-18-7, 43 points)
Petr Mrazek pitched a 27-save shutout in a 4-0 win against the Blackhawks on Sunday for his second whitewash of the season. Wonder if he'll generate any interest at the trade deadline.
(Last week: 24)
23. Carolina Hurricanes (20-17-8, 48 points)
Sebastian Aho exited Sunday's game with both a knee and head injury, and it'd be a really tough blow if he's out for an extended period time for a Hurricanes team fighting to stay in the playoff hunt in the ultra competitive Metropolitan Division.
(Last week: 20)
22. New York Islanders (22-18-4, 48 points)
Mathew Barzal already has two five-point games in 46 career NHL games. For reference, Patrick Kane recently had his first five-point effort in his NHL career.
(Last week: 23)
21. New York Rangers (22-17-5, 49 points)
Water is finding its level with the Rangers, who are 9-8-3 in their last 20 games since starting the season 13-9-2. They rank 30th in possession numbers, and own a minus-46 shot differential over their last five games.
(Last week: 12)
20. Philadelphia Flyers (20-15-8, 48 points)
The Flyers are essentially a three-headed monster featuring Claude Giroux (54 points), Jakub Voracek (53) and Sean Couturier (45), all of whom rank among the top 15 in points. They've combined for 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists) in their last four games, all of which have resulted in wins.
(Last week: 22)
19. Anaheim Ducks (20-15-9, 49 points)
Ondrej Kase had his first career three-point game in Anaheim's 4-2 win over Los Angeles on Saturday. After Monday's road contest against Colorado, the Ducks will play five straight home games.
(Last week: 17)
18. Chicago Blackhawks (22-17-6, 50 points)
The Blackhawks entered the bye week with a 4-0 home loss to Detroit on national television, and will probably be at least two games out of a wild card spot when they return to action Saturday. They're pretty much in must-win mode from here on out.
(Last week: 18)
17. Pittsburgh Penguins (24-19-3, 51 points)
With another goal in Sunday's 5-2 win over the Rangers, Phil Kessel become just the third American-born player in NHL history to score at least 20 goals in 10 or more consecutive seasons, according to Elias, joining Brett Hull and Patrick Kane.
(Last week: 19)
16. Dallas Stars (24-17-3, 51 points)
The Stars dropped their opening game out of the bye week to the Avalanche 4-1, which closed out a six-game homestand. They'll now play the next four games on the road, where they are 8-11-2 compared to 16-6-1 at home. Important stretch as they try to cling on to a wild card spot.
(Last week: 13)
15. Minnesota Wild (24-17-5, 53 points)
The Wild have the second-rank penalty kill percentage (91.7) at home. On the road? They're 25th with a 77.2 percent success rate.
(Last week: 16)
14. Colorado Avalanche (23-16-3, 49 points)
Nathan MacKinnon has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in his past six games, which has included three three-point efforts. He's finally emerged as a superstar in this league.
(Last week: 14)
13. San Jose Sharks (22-13-6, 50 points)
The Sharks have scored a least one power play goal in 13 of their last 15 games after coming up empty in their previous three games. But they've also allowed a power-play goal in six of their last seven, so the penalty kill needs a little work.
(Last week: 15)
12. Columbus Blue Jackets (25-18-3, 53 points)
Jack Johnson reportedly requested a trade out of Columbus after he's seen his minutes dip, but it will be interesting to see whether he is actually moved. He's been a terrific player in the postseason for the win-now Blue Jackets, and losing him on the blue line could be tough to swallow if he's not replaced with a similar type player.
(Last week: 11)
11. New Jersey Devils (22-12-8, 52 points)
Taylor Hall has eight points (three goals, five assists) in just four games this month. He had 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 12 games last month.
(Last week: 10)
10. Toronto Maple Leafs (25-17-3, 53 points)
After Tuesday's home contest against St. Louis, the Maple Leafs will play six of their next eight games on the road, where they are 12-10-2 compared to 13-7-1 at Air Canada Centre.
(Last week: 9)
9. Los Angeles Kings (24-14-5, 53 points)
Jonathan Quick has allowed four goals in each of his last three straights. He allowed four goals or more just four times in his first 28 starts of the season.
(Last week: 7)
8. St. Louis Blues (26-17-3, 55 points)
The Blues have lost three straight (0-2-1), and have allowed 17 goals over that span. No matter who's in goal, that's a recipe for disaster.
(Last week: 8)
7. Calgary Flames (25-16-4, 54 points)
The Flames hadn't won more than three games in a row all season, yet they've managed to string together seven straight victories. Johnny Gaudreau has 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) during the winning streak, and has moved into a tie for second in the NHL with 54 points.
(Last week: 21)
6. Winnipeg Jets (26-13-7, 59 points)
After scoring at least four goals in six of their seven games during their point streak, the Jets were only able to get one each in back-to-back regulation losses to Chicago and Minnesota.
(Last week: 4)
5. Boston Bruins (24-10-7, 55 points)
Goal differential by period for the Bruins: plus-10 in the first, plus-11 in the second, plus-12 in the third. Consistency across the board.
(Last week: 6)
4. Nashville Predators (25-11-6, 56 points)
The Predators had the luxury of having six days off instead of five during their league-mandated bye week, but they'll have to shake off the rust quickly because Vegas is waiting for them on Tuesday.
(Last week: 5)
3. Washington Capitals (28-14-3, 59 points)
Alex Ovechkin will always be considered one of the greatest goal scorers in NHL history, but he also became the 14th active player to reach the 500-assist mark. What a terrific bounce-back season he's having at age 32.
(Last week: 3)
2. Vegas Golden Knights (29-10-3, 61 points)
It's well-documented that the Golden Knights have the best home record out of any team in the league at 18-2-2. Well, they're about to spend a lot of time away from T-Mobile Arena. Ten out of their next 12 games, including the next four, will be on the road, where they are 11-8-1.
(Last week: 2)
1. Tampa Bay Lightning (31-10-3, 65 points)
The Lightning will face their first real test of adversity this season after Victor Hedman suffered an apparent leg injury that will sideline the Norris Trophy candidate for 3-6 weeks. And they're probably fortunate it wasn't a longer term situation.
(Last week: 1)