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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

[He's] real confident with the puck now, getting it off his stick quick and no second-guessing. We need that. He's such a good guy in the room. He works so hard. That's the big thing. For not a big man, he just fights for every puck and when he scores, the guys appreciate that even more.

— Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice on Mathieu Perreault, who scored two goals in win against Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday