San Jose is 4-1 in its past five games, 7-3 in its past 10 and 25-10-5 in its past 40 games going back to a 3-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Dec. 15 that ended a six-game losing streak. Center Joe Thornton has 51 points in those 40 games.
Video: WSH@SJS: Pavelski puts the Sharks up by 1
The Super 16 rankings come out every Thursday and are based on submissions by a panel of seven NHL.com staff members. Each submits his version of the Super 16 and a point value is assigned to each ranking to come up with the final power rankings:
The Sharks were ranked as high as No. 6 among the seven NHL.com staff members who contribute to create the weekly Super 16. Each staff member submits his version and a point value is assigned to each to come up with the final power rankings:
No. 1 = 16 points
No. 2 = 15
No. 3 = 14
No. 4 = 13
No. 5 = 12
No. 6 = 11
No. 7 = 10
No. 8 = 9
No. 9 = 8
No. 10 = 7
No. 11 = 6
No. 12 = 5
No. 13 = 4
No. 14 = 3
No. 15 = 2
No. 16 = 1
The Los Angeles Kings bumped up to No. 3 from No. 6 last week after defeating the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars by a combined 10-2 score. The New York Rangers had the biggest drop in the Super 16, falling from No. 8 to No. 14.
Here are the rankings for this week, with pertinent information and a Hit and Miss for each team.
Video: CAR@WSH: Ovechkin fires it home to win the game in OT
1. Washington Capitals (50-14-5)
Total points: 112
Last week: No. 1
Hit: Alex Ovechkin's overtime goal Tuesday ended a five-game goal-less streak. The last thing the Capitals need is Ovechkin going into a prolonged scoring drought.
Miss: They've averaged two goals per game in their past six games. It's a small sample size, but it's more than a goal per game short of their per-game average for the season (3.14).
2. Anaheim Ducks (38-22-9)
Total points: 99
Last week: No. 2
Hit: The Ducks had scored a power-play goal in 13 of their past 15 games, going 21-for-54 (38.9 percent), but did not receive a power play in a 2-1 loss against the New York Rangers on Wednesday. They were second in the NHL on the power play at 23.4 percent (48-for-205).
Miss: Defenseman Sami Vatanen has missed three straight games with an upper-body injury he sustained against the Colorado Avalanche on March 9.
3. Los Angeles Kings (42-22-5)
Total points: 97
Last week: No. 6
Hit: They are 4-0-1 in their past five games and have scored a combined 19 goals in the four wins, including five against the Vancouver Canucks, Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars.
Miss: Hard to find flaws after the way they played the past two games with a 5-0 win against the Blackhawks and 5-2 against the Stars with backup Jhonas Enroth in goal.
Video: STL@EDM: Backes' snap shot pulls Blues within one
4. St. Louis Blues (41-22-9)
Total points: 89
Last week: No. 4
Hit: Goalie Brian Elliott, who missed his 10th straight game Wednesday with a lower-body injury, has been practicing and is nearing a return. He was placed on long-term injured reserve on Feb. 23, requiring him to miss 10 games or 24 days. He is eligible to come off LTIR.
Miss: In the race for first in the Central Division with the Blackhawks and Stars, the Blues have the fewest games remaining (10) and the fewest number of regulation/overtime wins (36 entering Wednesday). St. Louis allowed four power-play goals in a 6-4 loss at the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.
5. Chicago Blackhawks (41-24-6)
Total points: 87
Last week: No. 3
Hit: They were first in the Western Conference in home points' percentage at .714 (24-9-2) heading into their game Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers. They had allowed a League-low 64 goals against at home.
Miss: They are 17-14-4 on the road, including three losses in overtime, which is worst among the top three teams in the Central Division. They'd start the Stanley Cup Playoffs on the road against either the Dallas Stars or St. Louis Blues if the season ended today.
6. Dallas Stars (41-21-9)
Total points: 80
Last week: No. 7
Hit: They have scored a power-play goal in five straight games, going 6-for-17 in that span.
Miss: Goalies Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen combined to allow 10 even-strength goals in back-to-back losses to the Blues and Kings.
Video: WSH@SJS: Marleau puts Sharks ahead, 2-1
7. San Jose Sharks (39-24-6)
Total points: 60
Last week: No. 13
Hit: They've won two in a row at home and are 9-3-3 in their past 15 home games after going 5-12-0 in their first 17. They play nine of their last 13 games at home.
Miss: The Sharks have fed on Eastern Conference teams, going 19-11-1 in 31 games (.629 points percentage). The problem is they have only one game left against the Eastern teams (Saturday against the Rangers). They are 20-13-5 (.592 points percentage) against Western teams.
8. Tampa Bay Lightning (40-25-5)
Total points: 58
Last week: No. 5
Hit: Goalie Ben Bishop needs 10 saves to move past Nikolai Khabibulin (4,715 saves) and into second place on the Lightning's all-time saves list. Daren Puppa is the leader with 4,959 saves.
Miss: They're 0-for-19 on the power play in their past eight games.
9. Boston Bruins (39-24-8)
Total points: 51
Last week: No. 11
Hit: Loui Eriksson has goals in three straight games, giving him 27 for the season. He hasn't scored 30 or more in a season since scoring 36 with the Stars in 2008-09.
Miss: They've scored only five even-strength goals in four games since scoring five in a 5-4 overtime win against the Florida Panthers on March 7.
Video: FLA@MTL: Trocheck opens the scoring for the Panthers
10. Florida Panthers (39-22-9)
Total points: 45
Last week: No. 12
Hit: Center Vincent Trocheck has eight points on two goals and six assists in the past five games. He has 48 points in 70 games this season. He had 30 points in 70 games in the previous two seasons.
Miss: He's had a tremendous season, but goalie Roberto Luongo has gone a bit cold of late. He has a .870 save percentage (16 goals against on 124 shots) and 3.66 goals-against average in his past five starts.
11. Nashville Predators (35-22-13)
Total points: 44
Last week: No. 10
Hit: They were 17-for-17 on penalty kill during their recently completed five-game road trip. They went 3-1-1 on the trip.
Miss: They were 0-for-16 on the power play on that five-game road trip.
12. New York Islanders (38-21-9)
Total points: 45
Last week: No. 9
Hit: John Tavares has 26 points on 11 goals and 15 assists in his past 26 games. He had a five-game point streak end in a 2-1 shootout loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.
Miss: Forwards Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson have combined for two points, both on goals, in the past 12 games. Nelson was a healthy scratch on Tuesday.
Video: NYI@PIT: Fleury denies Tavares as OT expires
13. Pittsburgh Penguins (37-24-8)
Total points: 35
Last week: No. 14
Hit: Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is 9-2-1 with a 1.64 GAA and .939 save percentage in his past 12 starts against Metropolitan Division teams. That obviously bodes well if the Penguins play the Capitals, Rangers or Islanders in the playoffs.
Miss: Phil Kessel has no goals in six straight games and one goal in his past 11 games.
14. New York Rangers (40-23-7)
Total points: 34
Last week: No. 8
Hit: The Rangers opened their three-game California trip Wednesday with a 2-1 win at Anaheim and moved back into second place in the Metropolitan Division.
Miss: Eric Staal didn't have a point in six of his seven games entering play Wednesday, but he did help set up Kevin Klein's game-winning goal in the third period.
15. Philadelphia Flyers (34-23-12)
Total points: 13
Last week: No. 16
Hit: Of defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere's 16 goals, 15 either tied a game or gave the Flyers the lead; the other wound up as the game-winning goal.
Miss: None. Including the 3-2 win at Chicago on Wednesday, the Flyers are 5-0-1 in their past six games and are a point ahead of the Detroit Red Wings for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
Video: WPG@DET: Larkin records his 20th goal of the season
16. Detroit Red Wings (34-25-11)
Total points: 5
Last week: No. 15
Hit: Rookie forward Dylan Larkin has a goal and 18 shots on goal in his past four games, a sign he might be coming out of a prolonged scoring slump.
Miss: Larkin still only had two points, both goals, in his past 16 games.
Other receiving votes: Minnesota Wild (3 points)
HERE'S HOW WE VOTED
16. Red Wings
16. Red Wings
16. Red Wings
MIKE G. MORREALE
16. Red Wings
16. Red Wings