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NHL Power Rankings: Lightning Still First, Maple Leafs Streaking

Credit: Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Lightning continue their reign up top, but it looks as if one team is slowly gaining ground. The Toronto Maple Leafs had a perfect week and have now won six games in a row. With Auston Matthews finally healthy again, the Leafs looks primed for a run near the top and look as potent as ever in the offensive zone.

Last Week’s Rankings

Here are this week’s power rankings!

Biggest Movers:

Carolina Hurricanes: Up 9 spots from 22 to 12

San Jose Sharks: Down 9 spots from 9 to 18

Teams 31-11:

31.) Arizona Coyotes (31) (4-15-3)  30.) Buffalo Sabres (30) (5-11-4)  29.) Florida Panthers (29) (7-11-2)  28.) Edmonton Oilers (28) (7-11-2)  27.) Montreal Canadiens (25) (8-11-2)  26.) Philadelphia Flyers (19) (8-8-4)  25.) Minnesota Wild (24) (9-8-2)  24.) Boston Bruins (27) (8-7-4)  23.) Vancouver Canucks (18) (9-8-3)  22.) New York Rangers (17) (10-9-2)  21.) Anaheim Ducks (26) (9-7-3)  20.) Dallas Stars (15) (10-9-1)  19.) Colorado Avalanche (21) (10-8-1)  18.) San Jose Sharks (9) (10-8-0)  17.) Detroit Red Wings (23) (10-8-3)  16.) Washington Capitals (13) (11-9-1)  15.) Chicago Blackhawks (20) (10-8-2)  14. Ottawa Senators (6) (8-5-6)  13.) Carolina Hurricanes (22) (9-6-4)  12.) Calgary Flames (16) (11-8-0)  11.) Pittsburgh Penguins (14) (11-8-3)

Top Ten:

10. New York Islanders (12) (11-7-2)

The Islanders had a good week going 2-1, but had the best win of the week beating the Lightning in Tampa while also splitting with the Hurricanes. The Islanders top line is producing with Bailey-Tavares-Lee, but goaltending continues to be an issue. Jaroslav Halak’s SV% is under .900 while Thomas Greiss’ is just four ticks above the .900 mark. Islanders will have three games this week, starting with a home game against the Flyers before going to Philadelphia and Ottawa to end the week.

9. Nashville Predators (10) (11-6-2)

The Predators went 2-1 this week with wins over Washington and Colorado and a loss at Minnesota in between. The acquisition of Kyle Turris has been a blessing for Craig Smith and Kevin Fiala, as Smith has five points in four games while Fiala has four in four since Turris joined their line at center, giving the Predators another scoring line. The Preds have a busy week, as they face Winnipeg and Montreal before ending the week on the road at St Louis and Carolina.

8. Columbus Blue Jackets (11) (12-7-1)

After four straight losses, the Blue Jackets are on a three-game win streak, with two coming last week over Montreal and the Rangers. During this win streak, goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has given up just two goals and has dropped his GAA to 2.02 (Best in NHL) and his SV% to .933 (Second best in NHL). While the offense continues to struggle, Bobrosvky continues to keep this team chugging right along. The Jackets have three games this week, starting on the road at Buffalo before coming home to end the week with Calgary and Ottawa.

7. Vegas Golden Knights (5) (12-6-1)

Although Vegas dropped two spots, they continue to stay afloat with all the goaltending issues that they have. The Knights went 2-1 this past week, with an ugly 8-2 loss to the Oilers to begin the week, but rebounded with wins over the Canucks and Kings. The Knights are getting offense from all over the place, as eight different players have double-digit points. Goaltending continues to be a rubix cube, as they have now had five different players play in a game after Maxime Legace got hurt, and 19-year-old Dylan Ferguson had to step in and saved one shot while giving up one goal. Vegas will have three games this week, with road games against the Ducks and Coyotes with a home game against the Sharks in the middle.

6. Los Angeles Kings (3) (12-7-2)

The Kings had a bit of a hiccup this week, going 1-3 with losses to Vancouver, Boston and Vegas while getting a win over Florida. Usually reliant netminder Jonathan Quick has been in a funk lately, going 0-3 this week and losing his last five starts overall. In those five starts, Quick has a .894 SV% and has given up three goals/game. The Kings will take on three opponents this week, as they face Winnipeg and Anaheim at home and head to Arizona to face the Coyotes in between the two home games.

5. New Jersey Devils (4) (11-5-3)

With only two games, the Devils had a bit of a rough week, losing both games on the road to the Maple Leafs and the Jets. Taylor Hall continues to lead the team offensively with 20 points, which is five points more then any other player. The Devils will look to get back on track this week with a heavy four-game week, as they take on the Wild and Red Wings on the road while playing host to the Bruins and Canucks in between.

4. Toronto Maple Leafs (8) (14-7-0)

There is no team hotter than the Maple Leafs right now. They have won six straight, including a 2-0 week and giving up zero goals while beating the Devils and Canadians by a total of 7 to 0. Goaltender Frederik Anderson has made big strides in the past couple weeks, as he has won his last five starts while a posting a .960 SV% and allowing just seven goals over that span. Auston Matthews returned from injury to score two goals in a 6-0 win over the Canadiens. The Maple Leafs will look to keep streaking as they have a four-game week against the Coyotes, Panthers, Hurricanes and Capitals.

3. Winnipeg Jets (7) (12-4-3)

The Jets continue to prove that they belong, as they are on a four-game win streak. Connor Hellebuyck continues to be a stone wall in net, giving up just five goals this week and improving to 11-1-2. The tandem of Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele are red hot, posting 33 points in their last 13 games. The Jets will be test this week with a four-game slate all on the road against the Predators, Kings, Ducks and Sharks.

2. St. Louis Blues (2) (15-5-1)

The Blues had another good week, going 2-1 with wins over Edmonton and Vancouver after a rough 7-4 loss to the Flames to start the week. Jake Allen has not been nearly as stellar as of late, but Brayden Schenn has been the offseason acquisition of the season. Schenn is tied for fourth in the league in points, with 26, and currently centers the second best line in all of hockey with Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko. The Blues will get three home games this week, as they take on the Oilers, Predators and Wild.

1. Tampa Bay Lightning (1) (15-3-2)

The Lightning had a bad week… their eyes, going 1-1 with a win over the Stars before taking a tough home loss against the Islanders to end the week. Even with the loss, the Lightning still look like the clear best team in the NHL and have possibly the two best players in the league right now. Steven Stamkos continues to lead the NHL in points and assists, while Nikita Kucherov leads the league in goals. These two, along with Vlad Namestnikov, form the best line in hockey, and don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Tampa will get three tough games this week, as they face the Blackhawks at home before going on the road to face the Penguins and the Capitals.

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