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Best from the West with the extra man

NHL.com @NHL


While Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin dominate the highlight reels skating with the man advantage, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a boatload of talent in the Western Conference.

Marian Hossa joins a long list of tremendous goal scorers after signing a one-year deal with the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings in July. Without a doubt, Hossa will be yet another weapon on the Wings’ power play – a power play that already boasts the likes of Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom.

With that in mind, here are NHL.com’s top five power-play performers from the Western Conference:

1. Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings – A phenomenal playmaker who earned the 2008 Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Zetterberg was just as solid during the regular season – especially on the power play.

Zetterberg – who finished second in Motown to only Pavel Datsyuk in scoring – had 16 goals and 20 assists on the power play last season. With Marian Hossa on board this season, there is only one direction those numbers are going to go – up.

2. Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames – Someday, his No. 12 will be raised to the rafters of the Pengrowth Saddledome. In the meantime, the Flames’ captain will continue to wreak havoc on every part of the ice.

That obviously includes the power play, which saw Iginla go 15-18-33 last season. While the Flames lost Kristian Huselius to free agency this summer, newcomers such as Mike Cammalleri and Todd Bertuzzi should help Iginla remain as one of the League’s top power-play performers.

3. Olli Jokinen, Phoenix Coyotes – He developed into one of the top centers in the NHL during the past seven seasons in Florida, but now Jokinen heads to the desert following a draft-day deal.

Can Jokinen top the 33 points (18 goals, 15 assists) he notched on the power play last season this time around? Well, he is playing for Wayne Gretzky, so anything is possible.

4. Daymond Langkow, Calgary Flames – The Edmonton native enjoyed his second straight 30-goal campaign, and much of his success was enjoyed on the power play. Langkow – who could center Calgary’s top line with Jarome Iginla and Mike Cammalleri – scored almost half of his 30 goals with the man advantage, as he went 14-9-23.

With stud quarterback Dion Phaneuf on the blue line, Langkow will certainly receive plenty of opportunities to rack up points on the power play again in 2008-09.

5. Dustin Penner, Edmonton Oilers – His ability to create offense on the power play was one of the many reasons why he was signed to an offer sheet in July 2007, and Penner certainly did not disappoint in that aspect.

While he failed to duplicate or top the 29-goal season he had with the Anaheim Ducks in 2006-07, Penner enjoyed plenty of success on the power play during his first season in Edmonton, as he notched 13 goals and nine assists.

With young players such as Andrew Cogliano and Sam Gagner a year older – combined with the return of a healthy Sheldon Souray – Penner could have a big year with the man advantage.

Contact Brian Compton at: bcompton@nhl.com.

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