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Rangers roll to top spot in Power Rankings

by Dave Lozo
For the third week in a row, we have a new No. 1 on top of the Super 16.

The New York Rangers moved to the front of the pack on the strength of a 3-0-1 week. In three games without captain and second-leading scorer Ryan Callahan, the Rangers went 2-0-1. They have earned at least a point in seven of their last eight games and beat the defending Stanley Cup-champion Boston Bruins on Sunday 4-3. It was their third win in as many tries against them this season.

There are teams rising at the bottom of this week's power rankings, too, clearly sniffing a playoff spot and pulling out all the stops to get there.

Here's this week's Super 16:

1 N.Y. Rangers (42-15-7) 4 In a strange coincidence, the Rangers earned their 91st point against the Bruins on Sunday; last season, they earned their 91st point against the Bruins, only it was on April 4 in Game 80.
2 St. Louis (41-18-7) 2 Winners of four of their last five, the Blues are on pace for 111 points. It would be three short of the franchise record set in 1999-2000, when the Blues won the Presidents' Trophy but lost in the first round of the playoffs.
3 Pittsburgh (38-21-5) 7
Jordan Staal has 33 points in 44 games, the best points-per-game average of his career. If not for a knee injury that cost him 15 games, his season would be garnering more attention.
4 Vancouver (41-17-8) 1 The Canucks have dropped three of four, but have picked up points in three of four. They have earned at least a point in 18 of their last 20 games.
5 Nashville (38-20-7) 5 Since acquiring Hal Gill, the Preds are 5-1-1. In two games with the club, Andrei Kostitsyn has a goal and an assist, and Paul Gaustad had an assist, and won 15-of-22 faceoffs in his one game.
6 Detroit (43-20-3)
The Red Wings clearly are not the same team with Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk out, but what team would be? If the lower-body injury Jimmy Howard suffered Sunday is serious, then there could be problems.
7 Philadelphia (36-21-7) 10
Is Ilya Bryzgalov figuring it out? In his last three starts, the enigmatic goaltender has stopped 77 of 81 shots for a .951 save percentage.
8 Chicago (36-24-7) 12
The streakiness of the Blackhawks is fascinating. Since Jan. 15, they have won three straight, lost nine straight, won four straight, lost three straight, and won three straight.
9 Phoenix (33-23-9) 3 After a near-perfect February, the air has come out of the balloon with two straight losses to open March. The Coyotes are just three points clear of ninth in the West.
10 Dallas (35-26-5) 15 The Stars are 6-0-1 in their last seven. In Kari Lehtonen's last six games, he is 5-0-1 with a 1.48 goals-against average and .949 save percentage.
11 Buffalo (30-27-8) NR Here's yet another team on a 6-0-1 run. It's also mostly been about the goaltender, as Ryan Miller has allowed just 10 goals in that stretch and posted two shutouts.
12 Boston (38-23-3) 8 The Bruins can look dominant at times and pedestrian at others. It's a big reason why they haven't strung together consecutive victories since Jan. 10-12.
13 Tampa Bay (31-28-6) NR
For weeks, it looked like no one wanted the No. 8 spot in the East. Winners of four straight and seven of nine, the Lightning are two points out with a game in hand.
14 Ottawa (34-25-8) 11 With Craig Anderson out, rookie goaltender Robin Lehner has held the fort. He lost back-to-back games this weekend, but he's posted a 2.02 GAA and .938 save percentage.
15 Los Angeles (30-23-12) NR
They've won back-to-back games for the first time since winning the two games that bridged the All-Star break. They've won three of four and are three points back of the lead in the Pacific.
16 Winnipeg (31-27-8) 16 As rough as the 5-3 loss to the Oilers was, the 7-0 shellacking of the Southeast-leading Panthers three nights later was even more impressive. They have a big game with the Sabres at home Monday.
If you have any problems, questions, anger or praise for this list, you can let me know on Twitter: @davelozo

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