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Rangers still No. 1 in Power Rankings

Sunday, 02.05.2012 / 11:30 PM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

By Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Rangers still No. 1 in Power Rankings
With Sunday's 5-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers are still No. 1 on NHL.com's Power Rankings.
The first few games back from the All-Star break are usually a struggle to regain the consistency they had before the layoff, but most of the teams at the top of the Super 16 didn't break stride.

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.
3 Nashville (32-17-4) 3
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.
6 Pittsburgh (30-18-4)
7
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.
13 Toronto (27-19-6) 15
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.
15 Washington (27-21-4) 12
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.
If you have any problems, questions, anger or praise for this list, you can let me know on Twitter: @davelozo
Quote of the Day

You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense