The Rangers secured the No. 1 spot with their 5-2 win against the Flyers, who had a strong victory against the Nashville Predators at home this week but dropped two straight to the Rangers and New Jersey Devils in subsequent games.
The Devils, meanwhile, went 4-0 out of the break, with three wins against some of the East's top teams -- the Rangers, Flyers and Penguins.
The Blackhawks are struggling, but they had such a strong start that a mid-season hiccup shouldn't damage their place in the standings if they can right the ship quickly.
How is everyone else doing in this week's power rankings? Let's take a look:
|RANK||TEAM (RECORD)||LAST WEEK||COMMENTARY|
|1||N.Y. Rangers (33-12-5)||1||The Rangers are in the midst of a stretch where they are playing 36 straight games without leaving their time zone. A trip to Chicago on March 9 ends that streak.|
|2||Detroit (35-16-2)||2||If the Wings' time without Jimmy Howard is extended, will Ken Holland make a deal for a goalie? Ty Conklin was yanked Saturday after allowing three first-period goals.|
The Preds have a stigma of being an offensively challenged team, but at 2.76 per game, they rank 12th, two-hundredths of a point behind the San Jose Sharks.
|4||Vancouver (32-15-5)||6||The Canucks' last four games and seven of nine have gone beyond regulation. They went past 60 minutes only 7 times in their first 43 games.|
|5||Boston (33-16-2)||4||When historians study our society thousands of years from now, they will be mystified by two things -- the Kardashians' popularity and how Carolina went 4-0 vs. Boston.|
In this stretch in which the Penguins have won 8 of 9, they are 6-1 in one-goal games. The one loss was 1-0 to the Leafs with backup Brent Johnson not getting any support.
|7||San Jose (29-15-6)||10||
Before Saturday's loss in Phoenix in which the Sharks led 1-0, San Jose was 18-3-1 when scoring first. The Coyotes were 4-17-3 when giving up the first goal.
|8||St. Louis (30-14-7)||5||
The Blues have scored two goals or fewer in four straight and six of seven. They went 1-2-1 in four games with the Pens, Wings, Kings and Predators since Jan. 23.
|9||New Jersey (29-19-3)||14||Alexei Ponikarovsky has quietly been a solid addition by the Devils. In six games, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound left wing has 2 goals and 4 assists.|
|10||Philadelphia (30-16-6)||8||The Flyers haven't strung together two straight wins since Jan. 10-12. They are 10-7-3 since a seven-game winning streak that kicked off December.|
|11||Chicago (29-17-7)||9||The Blackhawks are in the midst of a five-game losing streak, their longest since March 2009. They've allowed 22 goals during the skid.|
|12||Los Angeles (25-18-10)||11||The Kings' six-game road trip got off to a bumpy start with losses to the Blues and Hurricanes on back-to-back nights.|
James Reimer hadn't started since Jan. 17 before registering back-to-back shutouts this week vs. the Pens and Sens, making 74 saves in the process.
|14||Florida (24-16-11)||16||They continue to hold off the Caps in the battle for the Southeast Division. The two teams will meet again Tuesday and one more time Feb. 17.|
Nicklas Backstrom hasn't played since Jan. 3 due to a concussion, yet he still leads the team in assists and points.
|16||Minnesota (25-19-8)||NR||After stumbling for about six weeks, the Wild are starting to find it again. They've won 3 of 5 and have a four-game homestand starting this week.|