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Super 16

Penguins rising up ranks of Super 16

Washington still unanimous No. 1, but Pittsburgh up to No. 6 off recent run

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

It was only two weeks ago when the Pittsburgh Penguins were No. 13 in NHL.com's weekly Super 16 power rankings, struggling to hang on but buoyed by a glut of inconsistent teams in the same predicament as them.

Oh, how two weeks' worth of games can change opinions. The Penguins come in at No. 6 in the Super 16 this week behind the Presidents' Trophy winning Washington Capitals (unanimous No. 1 for the seventh straight week) and four Western Conference powers.

The Penguins were ranked in the top six by five of the seven staff members whose submissions are used to make up the final Super 16 every week.

Robert Laflamme of LNH.com had the Penguins No. 4, ahead of the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks. Four other staff members had them at No. 6. Shawn Roarke had Pittsburgh at No. 8 and Adam Kimelman had them at No. 10.

Video: BUF@PIT: Pens net two shorthanded goals in 24 seconds

Pittsburgh received 73 points through our points-based rankings system. Each staff member 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 point values are assigned as follows: 16 points for a first-place vote, down to one point for a 16th-place vote.

The Penguins' rise up the Super 16 coincides with their 6-1-0 record since they were No. 13 on March 17. They are 9-1-0 in their past 10 games.

Pittsburgh isn't alone in its strong climb in the past two weeks. The New York Rangers, No. 14 on March 17, come in this week at No. 8 with 59 points. The Rangers, who were 11th last week, are 3-0-1 in their past four games.

The St. Louis Blues, with 98 points, moved up to No. 2, becoming the third different team to occupy the spot behind the Capitals in the past three weeks. St. Louis, winners of five in a row, was ranked in the top five by every staff member.

Here are the rankings for this week, with pertinent information and a Hit and Miss for each team.

1. Washington Capitals (54-16-6)
Total points: 1
12
Last week: No. 1

Hit: The Capitals as a whole are currently healthy, and since the Presidents' Trophy is wrapped up coach Barry Trotz can start resting players if necessary.
Miss: Alex Ovechkin did score Wednesday, but it was only his fourth goal in the past 16 games. He needs to heat up before the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Video: CBJ@WSH: Capitals clinch second Presidents' Trophy

2. St. Louis Blues (46-22-9)
Total points:
98
Last week: No. 3

Hit: Alexander Steen's return Tuesday (he had two assists in a 3-1 win against the Colorado Avalanche) made the Blues' forward lines as close to whole as they have been in a long time.
Miss: The defense is still missing some pieces. Jay Bouwmeester (upper body) has missed three straight games and Carl Gunnarsson (lower body) has sat out the past two.

3. Dallas Stars (46-22-9)
Total points:
94
Last week: No. 5

Hit: Tyler Seguin is getting closer to a return from his Achilles injury that has kept him out since March 19. He has been on the exercise bike this week and could be skating by next week.
Miss: It's hardly a big miss, but defenseman John Klingberg has one point, an assist, in five games since returning from a six-game absence because of an injury.

4. Los Angeles Kings (45-26-5)
Total points:
92
Last week: No. 2

Hit: Tyler Toffoli has five points in his past two games and five goals in his past nine.
Miss: The Kings have allowed 20 goals in five games since clinching a playoff berth. They're 1-4-0 in those games.

5. Anaheim Ducks (43-23-10)
Total points:
91
Last week: No. 4

Hit: Defenseman Sami Vatanen is back in the lineup after missing eight games with an upper-body injury. Looking at their defense, it has to be the envy of a lot of teams considering Vatanen, Hampus Lindholm, Cam Fowler, Shea Theodore, Simon Despres and Josh Manson are all under the age of 25.
Miss: The long change in the second period has been a big problem for Anaheim. The Ducks have a minus-18 goal differential in the second period. The have allowed 79 second-period goals, more than twice as many as they've given up in the first period.

Video: ANA@EDM: Perry opens the scoring with a blast

6. Pittsburgh Penguins (43-25-8)
Total points:
73
Last week: No. 8

Hit: Phil Kessel has been playing his best hockey of the season in the past three games. He's gotten used to playing with center Nick Bonino and left wing Carl Hagelin. He looks faster, has the puck more and is contributing on the scoresheet (seven points).
Miss: Injuries could again plague the Penguins. They're missing center Evgeni Malkin and defensemen Olli Maatta and Brian Dumoulin. Malkin and Maatta could conceivably be out for some or all of the first round of the playoffs. Dumoulin's timetable is not as clear.

7. Chicago Blackhawks (44-26-7)
Total points:
61
Last week: No. 6

Hit: Marian Hossa is one goal shy of 500 for his career.
Miss: They've lost 11 straight games (0-8-3) to Western Conference teams currently in a playoff position.

8. New York Rangers (43-24-9)
Total points:
59
Last week: No. 11

Hit: Eric Staal has scored two goals, generally looked quicker and overall has had a greater effect since moving to left wing two games ago. They might have found something good with a third line of Staal, Kevin Hayes and Jesper Fast.
Miss: Honestly, not much, at least not in the past four games. They're 3-0-1 with eight goals allowed in regulation. The power play is clicking. The penalty kill has been good. Each line has contributed. They're healthy.

Video: BOS@NYR: Brassard snipes top-shelf goal, extends lead

9. San Jose Sharks (43-28-6)
Total points:
57
Last week: No. 7

Hit: Logan Couture broke a 10-game goal drought with a hat trick in a 4-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. What a huge difference it could make for the Sharks if they can get Couture heated up before the playoffs.
Miss: It's the same miss as last week. Marc-Edouard Vlasic (lower body) has now missed seven straight games and there remains no timetable for his return. The Sharks need their best all-around defenseman back for the playoffs, but it's unclear when he'll return.

10. Tampa Bay Lightning (44-27-5)
Total points:
54
Last week: No. 9

Hit: They're 3-1-0 with 18 goals so far on their current six-game homestand. Steven Stamkos has been involved in six of the goals, with three goals and three assists.
Miss: It's impossible for the Lightning to replace defenseman Anton Stralman (non-displaced fracture of the left fibula) and everything he does. There is no timetable set for his return.

11. Nashville Predators (39-25-13)
Total points:
43
Last week: No. 10

Hit: They are 33-for-34 on the penalty kill since allowing three power-play goals to the New Jersey Devils on March 3.
Miss: They allowed nine even-strength goals, including two empty-net goals, in back-to-back losses to the Colorado Avalanche (4-3) and the Stars (5-2).

12. Florida Panthers (42-25-9)
Total points:
41
Last week: No. 12

Hit: Jonathan Huberdeau has scored in three straight games.
Miss: Forward Vincent Trocheck is out for at least the rest of the regular season with a foot injury. Trocheck has 17 points in his past 17 games.

Video: FLA@TBL: Jagr tallies 25th goal on the power play

13. Minnesota Wild (38-28-11)
Total points:
30
Last week: No. 16

Hit: Erik Haula has 10 points during his nine-game point streak (currently the longest streak for anybody in the NHL and the longest for any player on the Wild this season).
Miss: Nothing. They've won a season-high six straight games and have allowed eight goals in the process. They're rolling right now.

14. New York Islanders (41-25-9)
Total points:
19
Last week: No. 15

Hit: Thomas Greiss and Jean-Francois Berube have combined for a .919 save percentage (28 goals against on 348 shots) in the 11 games without Jaroslav Halak (lower body). Halak's save percentage for the season is .919.
Miss: Ryan Strome's struggles continue. He has been held without a point in 18 of his past 20 games despite playing 15 or more minutes in 16 of the 20 games.

15. Philadelphia Flyers (38-25-13)
Total points:
17
Last week: No. 14

Hit: They'll start on the road if they make the playoffs, and it might not be such a bad thing considering they're 10-5-3 in road games since losing three in a row in California to the Ducks, Sharks and Kings from Dec. 27-Jan. 2.
Miss: They have scored two first-period goals in their past eight games. For the season, Philadelphia has 47 goals in the first period; only three teams (Carolina Hurricanes, Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs) have fewer.

16. Boston Bruins (40-29-8)
Total points:
10
Last week: No. 13

Hit: They're plus-64 in shots on goal in their past seven games (238-174)
Miss: They're 1-6-0 in those games because they're shooting 4.2 percent (10 goals) and are 2-for-19 on the power play. They've allowed 21 goals, including five power-play goals, in that stretch.

Video: BOS@TOR: Chara beats Bernier, Bruins take the lead

Out: None
Other receiving votes: None

HERE'S HOW WE VOTED

ARPON BASU
1. Capitals; 2. Stars; 3. Blues; 4. Ducks; 5. Kings; 6. Penguins; 7. Lightning; 8. Sharks; 9. Blackhawks; 10. Rangers; 11. Predators; 12. Panthers; 13. Wild; 14. Flyers; 15. Islanders; 16. Bruins

BRIAN COMPTON
1. Capitals; 2. Blues; 3. Stars; 4. Kings; 5. Ducks; 6. Penguins; 7. Rangers; 8. Blackhawks; 9. Lightning; 10. Sharks; 11. Panthers; 12. Islanders; 13. Wild; 14. Predators; 15. Flyers; 16. Bruins

ADAM KIMELMAN
1. Capitals; 2. Stars; 3. Kings; 4. Ducks; 5. Blues; 6. Blackhawks; 7. Rangers; 8. Sharks; 9. Lightning; 10. Penguins; 11. Panthers; 12. Predators; 13. Bruins; 14. Flyers; 15. Wild; 16. Islanders

ROBERT LAFLAMME
1. Capitals; 2. Stars; 3. Blues; 4. Penguins; 5. Kings; 6. Ducks; 7. Rangers; 8. Sharks; 9. Lightning; 10. Blackhawks; 11. Panthers; 12. Wild; 13. Predators; 14. Islanders; 15. Flyers; 16. Bruins

MIKE G. MORREALE
1. Capitals; 2. Blues; 3. Ducks; 4. Kings; 5. Stars; 6. Penguins; 7. Rangers; 8. Panthers; 9. Blackhawks; 10. Lightning; 11. Predators; 12. Sharks; 13. Wild; 14. Flyers; 15. Islanders; 16. Bruins

SHAWN ROARKE
1. Capitals; 2. Ducks; 3. Kings; 4. Blues; 5. Sharks; 6. Stars; 7. Predators; 8. Penguins; 9. Blackhawks; 10. Lightning; 11. Wild; 12. Panthers; 13. Rangers; 14. Islanders; 15. Flyers; 16. Bruins

DAN ROSEN
1. Capitals; 2. Blues; 3. Kings; 4. Ducks; 5. Stars; 6. Penguins; 7. Blackhawks; 8. Predators; 9. Rangers; 10. Sharks; 11. Lightning; 12. Wild; 13. Panthers; 14. Islanders; 15. Flyers; 16. Bruins

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