Arguably the two most disappointing teams in the first half of the season have found their games and are establishing themselves as mainstays in NHL.com's weekly Super 16 power rankings.
The Pittsburgh Penguins (No. 8) and Anaheim Ducks (No. 10) are among the top 10 in the same week for the first time since the preseason poll was released Oct. 2. Back then, the Ducks were No. 2; the Penguins were No. 6.
Pittsburgh received a total of 59 points and the Ducks got 49 from the seven NHL.com staff members who participated in a points-based rankings system. Each staff member submits his version of the Super 16, with the top choice getting 16 points, the second choice getting 15 points all the way to the 16th choice, which gets one point.
The Penguins were ranked as high as No. 4 by LNH.com senior writer Robert Laflamme and as low as No. 11 by deputy managing editor Brian Compton and staff writer Mike G. Morreale.
The Ducks were ranked as high as No. 7 by deputy managing editor Adam Kimelman. They were also ranked No. 14 by Compton and LNH.com managing editor Arpon Basu.
Pittsburgh lost 3-0 to the New York Rangers on Wednesday, but is 8-3-2 in its previous 13 games, including a 6-2 win against the Ducks two nights earlier. The Penguins are 12-9-4 under coach Mike Sullivan since his debut on Dec. 14.
Anaheim has won seven of its past eight games and is 14-4-1 since Dec. 27. The Ducks are averaging 2.95 goals per game in their past 19 games; they were averaging 1.85 goals per game in their first 33 games.
In addition, the Washington Capitals were a unanimous No. 1 this week by the seven staff members and are No. 1 for the ninth consecutive week. The Chicago Blackhawks, with 104 points, are No. 2 for the sixth consecutive week.
The Capitals, Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers are the teams that have been ranked in the Super 16 every week this season.
The Super 16 rankings will come out every Thursday, and continue to be a point-based ranking system with NHL.com staff members contributing through the end of the regular season.
Here are the rankings for this week, with pertinent information and a Hit and Miss for each team:
1. Washington Capitals (39-9-4)
Total points: 112 (unanimous)
Last week: No. 1
Hit: Their depth is paying off. Ten players, including all three third-line forwards and two defensemen, have accounted for the 13 goals they've scored in their four-game winning streak.
Miss: Starts are concerning. They've committed five penalties in the first period in their past two games and have allowed the first goal in four of their past six.
2. Chicago Blackhawks (36-17-4)
Total points: 104
Last week: No. 2
Hit: Corey Crawford has allowed two or fewer goals in 12 of 15 starts since the calendar flipped to 2016. He has a .949 save percentage (24 goals on 477 shots) and two shutouts in that span.
Miss: Teuvo Teravainen has no points in the past eight games and no goals in the past 15.
3. Florida Panthers (32-16-6)
Total points: 90
Last week: No. 4
Hit: They are 12-2-1 in their past 15 home games. Florida starts a six-game homestand on Friday against the St. Louis Blues.
Miss: They've allowed 31 or more shots on goal in five straight games and have given up 15 goals (three per game) in that span.
4. Los Angeles Kings (32-17-3)
Total points: 88
Last week: No. 3
Hit: Marian Gaborik has three goals in the past five games after scoring once in his previous 16.
Miss: They defeated the Boston Bruins 9-2 on Tuesday, but the Kings haven't won two games in a row since Jan. 17-19 and they're 7-6-1 since their five-game winning streak from Dec. 26-Jan.2.
Video: LAK@BOS: Gaborik uses backhand to finish nifty dish
5. Dallas Stars (34-15-5)
Total points: 83
Last week: No. 5
Hit: They've won four of their past five games and have six goals from defensemen in those wins, including three in a 4-3 overtime victory against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.
Miss: Jason Spezza is on injured reserve (upper body). He has missed the past two games and is considered week-to-week.
6. Tampa Bay Lightning (29-20-4)
Total points: 75
Last week: No. 7
Hit: Defenseman Victor Hedman has 14 points on three goals and 11 assists in the past 13 games.
Miss: Forward Steven Stamkos has no goals in the past four games and one in the past 10.
7. St. Louis Blues (30-17-9)
Total points: 64
Last week: No. 6
Hit: Their power play has heated up after a cold stretch. They are 4-for-9 on the power play in the past two games after going 0-for-19 in the previous eight games.
Miss: They've been dealt a significant blow with defenseman Alex Pietrangelo going on injured reserve because of a right knee injury that will keep him out for at least three weeks.
8. Pittsburgh Penguins (27-19-7)
Total points: 59
Last week: No. 8
Hit: Sidney Crosby didn't register a shot on goal against the Rangers on Wednesday, but he had 22 points during an 11-game point-scoring streak and 10 goals during a seven-game goal-scoring streak that ended Wednesday.
Miss: Evgeni Malkin has missed four straight games because of a lower-body injury. He isn't expected to play Friday at the Carolina Hurricanes either.
Video: ANA@PIT: Crosby lights the lamp on a breakaway
9. New York Rangers (31-18-5)
Total points: 58
Last week: No. 11
Hit: Forward Jesper Fast has a goal and five assists in the past six games while playing in a top-six role in place of Rick Nash, who is out because of a bone bruise in his left knee.
Miss: They were 2-for-50 on the power play in their past 18 games. They've allowed 14 power-play goals against in that span.
10. Anaheim Ducks (26-19-7)
Total points: 49
Last week: No. 13
Hit: They lead the NHL in penalty kill percentage (89.0 percent). They're 61-for-66 on the PK since Dec. 27.
Miss: Not much here. Outside of a 6-2 loss to the Penguins on Saturday, it's been pretty good for the Ducks since the Christmas break. They are 14-4-1 in 19 games since Dec. 27.
11. Detroit Red Wings (28-18-8)
Total points: 46
Last week: No. 9
Hit: Pavel Datsyuk is two points shy of 900 for his career. He will be the sixth player in Red Wings history to reach that milestone, joining Gordie Howe, Steve Yzerman, Alex Delvecchio, Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov.
Miss: Goalie Jimmy Howard has appeared in four games with 15 goals against since Dec. 29. He is signed for three more seasons with a $5.29 million salary cap charge, according to generalfanager.com.
12. San Jose Sharks (28-20-4)
Total points: 36
Last week: No. 12
Hit: They are 23-2-1 when scoring first for a .885 winning percentage, second in the League behind the Capitals (.964).
Miss: Fifteen teams have scored the first goal in a game more often than the Sharks.
13. New York Islanders (28-16-6)
Total points: 33
Last week: No. 10
Hit: Jaroslav Halak had a much-needed strong performance Tuesday with 29 saves in a 3-2 shootout win against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He had allowed 10 goals on 61 shots in his previous three starts.
Miss: Slow starts are concerning. Take out their 8-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers, when they had a 3-0 lead after the first period, and the Islanders have been outscored 7-3 in the first period in their other five games since Jan. 25. They are 2-3 in those games.
Video: NYI@CBJ: Halak turns away Atkinson's one-timer
14. Boston Bruins (28-19-6)
Total points: 19
Last week: No. 16
Hit: Brad Marchand remains red hot. He has 10 goals in the past 10 games.
Miss: That 9-2 loss against the Kings was a huge miss. It goes along with their 12-14-3 record at TD Garden.
15. Nashville Predators (25-21-8)
Total points: 16
Last week: No. 14
Hit: Filip Forsberg has five points, including three goals, in the past two games. Prior to these past two games, he had five points in 14 games.
Miss: The inconsistency in net and on defense is alarming. They've played four games since the All-Star break, alternating good and bad. They allowed one goal in a 1-0 loss and followed it up with a 6-3 loss. They won 6-2, and followed it up with a 5-3 loss.
16. New Jersey Devils (27-21-7)
Total points: 10
Last week: NR
Hit: Cory Schneider has allowed two or fewer goals in 31 of his past 39 starts and has a 1.93 goals-against average and .933 save percentage in that span.
Miss: Kyle Palmieri, who leads the Devils with 20 goals, has no points in the past seven games, his longest drought of the season.
Out: Colorado Avalanche
Other receiving votes: Avalanche (9 points), Carolina Hurricanes (1 point)
HERE'S HOW WE VOTED
1. Capitals; 2. Blackhawks; 3. Kings; 4. Panthers; 5. Stars; 6. Lightning; 7. Rangers; 8. Penguins; 9. Red Wings; 10. Ducks; 11. Sharks; 12. Blues; 13. Islanders; 14. Bruins; 15. Avalanche; 16. Predators
1. Capitals; 2. Blackhawks; 3. Kings; 4. Stars; 5. Lightning; 6. Panthers; 7. Blues; 8. Penguins; 9. Rangers; 10. Red Wings; 11. Ducks; 12. Sharks; 13. Bruins; 14. Islanders; 15. Predators; 16. Devils
1. Capitals; 2. Blackhawks; 3. Panthers; 4. Kings; 5. Stars; 6. Blues; 7. Lightning; 8. Rangers; 9. Red Wings; 10. Islanders; 11. Penguins; 12. Sharks; 13. Devils; 14. Ducks; 15. Bruins; 16. Predators
1. Capitals; 2. Panthers; 3. Blackhawks; 4. Penguins; 5. Ducks; 6. Lightning; 7. Rangers; 8. Stars; 9. Blues; 10. Islanders; 11. Sharks; 12. Kings; 13. Red Wings; 14. Bruins; 15. Devils; 16. Predators
1. Capitals; 2. Blackhawks; 3. Kings; 4. Stars; 5. Panthers; 6. Rangers; 7. Lightning; 8. Blues; 9. Penguins; 10. Sharks; 11. Islanders; 12. Red Wings; 13. Bruins; 14. Ducks; 15. Devils; 16. Hurricanes
MIKE G. MORREALE
1. Capitals; 2. Blackhawks; 3. Kings; 4. Panthers; 5. Lightning; 6. Stars; 7. Blues; 8. Predators; 9. Ducks; 10. Red Wings; 11. Penguins; 12. Islanders; 13. Rangers; 14. Sharks; 15. Avalanche; 16. Devils
1. Capitals; 2. Blackhawks; 3. Kings; 4. Stars; 5. Panthers; 6. Blues; 7. Ducks; 8. Lightning; 9. Penguins; 10. Red Wings; 11. Rangers; 12. Avalanche; 13. Sharks; 14. Bruins; 15. Predators; 16. Islanders