NHL Power Rankings: Capitals hold onto top spot

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February 7th, 2020

Which NHL teams have been on a roll since the All-Star break, and which have been tailing off? Find out in our newest NHL Power Rankings.

1. Washington Capitals (36-13-5)

Previous rank: 1

A pair of one-goal losses in the first five games of their second half was not enough to knock the Capitals off their perch as the NHL’s top team. Alex Ovechkin has been on a tear over his last seven games, with 14 goals (including three hat-tricks) to take the league lead (40).

2. Boston Bruins (33-10-12)

Previous rank: 4

A five-game win streak, including a 4-0 victory over the Pacific Division-leading Canucks on Tuesday night, is just what the doctor ordered for a Bruins squad that was treading water (10-7-2 dating back to Dec. 1).

Backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak, called on for some heavy lifting after Tuukka Rask hit the IL (concussion) for two weeks in January, has a .930 save percentage over his last five outings.

3. Tampa Bay Lightning (34-15-5)

Previous rank: 5

The All-Star break did nothing to halt the Lightning’s momentum. Tampa is 5-0-1 since the exhibition took place and 17-2-1 since the Christmas vacation. That includes a 4-2 victory over the Penguins on Thursday night.

4. St. Louis Blues (32-15-8)

Previous rank: 2

The Blues had to be bumped down a couple of pegs following a mediocre run (2-4-0 in their last six games). Jordan Binnington hasn’t looked his regular self since the calendar flipped to January, with a .874 save percentage over 11 games.

5. Pittsburgh Penguins (33-15-5)

Previous rank: 4

The Penguins may have lost to the Lightning on Thursday, but they’ll have a shot at redemption when they host Tampa on Tuesday. Pittsburgh is 9-4 in 2020 and is at home for five of their next seven games.

6. Colorado Avalanche (30-16-6)

Previous rank: 6

The Avs offense has been firing on all cylinders lately, with 28 goals over their last six games (5-1). Left winger Andre Burakovsky has been on fire during this stretch, with four goals and eight assists.

7. Dallas Stars (30-18-5)

Previous rank: 8

Defenseman Stephen Johns, who has been sidelined for nearly two years with post-traumatic headaches, scored the go-ahead goal in Monday’s 5-3 win over the Rangers—his fourth game since being activated off injured reserve—in what was a very emotional moment.

8. New York Islanders (31-15-6)

Previous rank: 7

The Isles appear to be turning a corner. They’ve won three of their last four games, but they’ll have to gird their loins for a brutal stretch that begins Saturday. Six of their next seven games are on the road, with dates in Tampa, Washington, Vegas, and Colorado.

9. Vancouver Canucks (30-20-5)

Previous rank: 10

The Canucks survived a five-game road trip with a 2-2-1 record, and now they’ll be rewarded with a six-game homestand, in which only one of the visitors (Boston) is in playoff position.

10. Carolina Hurricanes (31-20-3)

Previous rank: 9

Dougie Hamilton’s absence has been felt since the All-Star break, as Carolina has gone 2-2 and been outscored 16-15. Center Sebastian Aho has done more than his fair share in this stretch, with five goals and two assists.

11. Columbus Blue Jackets (29-16-9)  

Previous rank: 16

Defenseman Zach Werenski scored the lone goal in the Blue Jackets’ 1-0 win over the Panthers on Tuesday night, which gave him 16 for the season, one off the team lead. Columbus is 12-2-1 since New Year's Eve.

12. Edmonton Oilers (28-20-6)

Previous rank: 11

Forward Kailer Yamamoto has played brilliantly in 13 games since he was called up by the Oilers. He has five goals, six assists, and a plus/minus of +11, good for the team lead.

13. Toronto Maple Leafs (28-19-7)

Previous rank: 12

The asking price for Alexandar Georgiev must have been steep, because the Maple Leafs made an underwhelming move to bring in Jack Campbell (8-10-2, 2.85 GAA, .900 save percentage) from the Kings in an attempt to solidify their goaltending situation. Poor play in net has pushed Toronto out of playoff position this week.

14. Florida Panthers (29-18-6)

Previous rank: 15

The timing of the All-Star break seemed to hurt the Panthers more than any club in the league, as they’re just 1-2-1 since their lengthy vacation (outscored 15-7).  

15. Vegas Golden Knights (28-21-7)

Previous rank: not ranked

The Golden Knights concluded a brutal, eight-game road trip with a 4-3-1 record, thanks to a 7-2 slaughter of the Panthers in Florida on Thursday night. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury took sole possession of fifth place on the NHL’s all-time win list, as he notched his 460th victory in the one-sided affair.

16. Philadelphia Flyers (29-18-7)

Previous rank: not ranked

If the Flyers are going to stay alive in the playoff race, they’ll need some production from captain Claude Giroux, who has been held off the scoresheet in four straight games. He’s failed to find the twine in 13 consecutive contests. 

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