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Devil-ish charm

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

The Red Wings and Rangers hang on to the top two spots in this week's THN.com NHL Power Rankings. However, hot on their heels are the increasingly dangerous New Jersey Devils, winners of nine of their past 13 games and challengers of the Penguins and Flyers for second spot in the Atlantic Division.

The Devils are being led in scoring (22 goals) and shootout goals (eight) by star winger Ilya Kovalchuk, but veteran Patrik Elias has been a big driver of their success as well, leading the team in assists (33), points (51) and power play goals (seven). They're actually getting contributions from unlikely sources in all areas: rookie Adam Henrique is New Jersey's biggest shorthanded threat with four goals, while David Clarkson (who is tied with Zach Parise for second in scoring with 20 goals) is tied with Kovalchuk for second on the team in power play goals (six).

The Devils' hot play will be tested immediately this week, as they take on the Rangers and St. Louis Blues before finishing off against the Panthers. Can they make another jump of six spots in the rankings? Doubtful, but check back next Monday to see.

RK.

TEAM

LW

THE SCOOP

1

1

Johan Franzen leads the Wings with nine power play goals.

2

2

Five of 11 remaining games in February are against divisional opponents

3

5

Preds have lost in regulation just four times since Dec. 26

4

6

Canucks have three road games this week, then three at home next week, then six straight on the road to finish off the month

5

3

Blues scored just two goals in as many games since the all-star break, but managed to win one of them

6

4

Tyler Seguin leads B's in goals (20), game-winners (five) and plus-minus (plus-33)

7

7

Patrick Marleau's seven game-winning goals tie him with Evgeni Malkin and Steven Stamkos for second in the league (Franzen has nine)

8

14

Devils have just four regulation losses in their past 17 games

9

10

Light week for Pens: Habs Tuesday, Jets Saturday, Bolts Sunday

10

9

Rookie Sean Couturier leads Flyers with two shorthanded goals and has three game-winners

11

8

Backsliding Hawks winless last week in first three games of nine-game road swing; this week, they get Colorado, San Jose and Phoenix

12

12

Toronto's goaltending duo of James Reimer and Jonas Gustavsson arguably league's hottest tandem

13

16

Cats beat Capitals in crucial divisional game last week, face Washington twice more this month

14

11

Caps have just one shorthanded goal all season

15

12

Kings must take advantage of four-game road trip against relatively soft opponents (Lightning, Panthers, Isles, Stars) to keep pace in post-season race

16

13

Sagging Sens have just one point in their past six games

17

19

Injury to Lee Stempniak the latest hurdle for playoff-starved Flames to overcome

18

17

Michael Ryder on pace for 28-goal season, which would be his best since 2006-07 in Montreal

19

20

Wild face Jackets twice this week; if they don't come away with at least three points in those games, they don't deserve to make the playoffs

20

18

Semyon Varlamov's numbers (.898 save percentage, 3.00 goals-against average) have trade from Washington looking like a big win for Caps

21

22

Steve Downie tied with Brett Clark for Bolts' worst plus-minus (minus-16)

22

21

Yotes play Flames, Canucks, Kings twice this month

23

23

Jets still dreadful on the road (9-16-4), but eight of their next 11 games are at home. If a playoff push is coming, it has to come now

24

26

Matt Moulson an impressive plus-11 on inconsistent Isles; next best are John Tavares/Travis Hamonic (plus-4)

25

27

Few teams will be more interesting to watch at trade deadline than Sabres. With playoffs a long-shot, do they tweak the roster or radically reshape it?

26

28

Eric Staal (38) the sole Cane with 30 or more points this year

27

25

Only Coyotes (12.3 percent) have a worse power play than Canadiens (12.5)

28

24

No team averages fewer shots on net than intermittently mighty Ducks (26.4)

29

29

Oilers have taken nine of a possible 10 points in their past five games, yet remain seven points behind Calgary for fourth in their division and 11 points out of a playoff spot

30

30

Rick Nash a team-worst minus-21, his worst since his rookie (minus-27) and sophomore (minus-35) NHL seasons

The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 each Monday based on a combination of last week’s play and a squad’s overall outlook.

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