Power Rankings: Streaking Kings snatch crown with six straight wins

Six straight victories and a run to the top of the Pacific Division has the Los Angeles Kings atop this week's Power Rankings. The Canucks and Blue Jackets were also big movers, but in opposite directions.

After a week off, we return you to the ‘A Team’ for thn.com’s Power Rankings. After subbing in last week, Matt Larkin is back writing about how some team is going to regress to the mean, or something like that.

Anyway, how about those Kings, eh? Winners of six in a row, have given up only eight goals during that stretch and scored at least four goals in four of the six games. About the only thing that has eluded the surprising Kings this season so far is consistency. In the eight games previous to their six-game streak, they had won just one of eight games and scored only 15 goals.

But they’re pretty darn good now, so good they find themselves at the top of this week’s Power Rankings. (Last week’s ranking in parentheses.)

THE CREAM OF THE CROP

1. Los Angeles Kings (19)
2. Nashville Predators (5)
3. Tampa Bay Lightning (1)
4. New York Rangers (10)
5. Washington Capitals (11)
6. Vegas Golden Knights (8)
7. New Jersey Devils (9)
8. Winnipeg Jets (6)
9. Dallas Stars (15)
10. Vancouver Canucks (25)

Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown already have as many goals combined (26) as they had all last season…With former Senator Kyle Turris in the lineup, the Predators are 10-2-1, while Turris has three goals and 12 points…Lightning coach Jon Cooper has broken up the top line of Steven Stamkos between Vladislav Namestnikov and Nikita Kucherov, putting Tyler Johnson in place of Kucherov and moving Kucherov to the second line with Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat…The emergence of Pavel Buchnevich as an impact player has been an under-the-radar story in the NHL this season…Nicklas Backstrom hasn’t scored a goal in his past 20 games and has just nine assists in that span…The Golden Knights earned their first-ever shootout win in a 3-2 victory over Anaheim Tuesday night. Alex Tuch, who scored the winner, will now forever go down in Golden Knights’ lore…Is there a faster line in the NHL right now than the Devils’ top trio of Nico Hischier between Taylor Hall and Jesper Bratt?...Patrik Laine scored his 50th career goal in his 101st career game in the Jets’ 5-1 loss to Detroit Tuesday night…Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak had a Gordie Howe Hat Trick in the Stars’ 5-2 loss to Nashville Tuesday night…Getting Derrick Pouliot for a fourth-round pick is beginning to look like a steal for the Canucks.

THE MUSHY MIDDLE

11. New York Islanders (4)
12. Toronto Maple Leafs (7)
13. Pittsburgh Penguins (18)
14. St. Louis Blues (3)
15. Montreal Canadiens (14)
16. Columbus Blue Jackets (2)
17. Boston Bruins (21)
18. Edmonton Oilers (23)
19. San Jose Sharks (12)
20. Minnesota Wild (17)

Game starts at 7:30, guys. In the Islanders' 5-2 loss in Tampa Tuesday night, they went the first 11 minutes of the game without a shot and were outshot 11-2 in the first period…The Maple Leafs will have played 19 road games in the months of November and December. Saturday night hockey at the Air Canada Centre seems like nothing more than a faint memory…Defenseman Justin Schultz, who suffered a lower-body injury and had to leave the game in a 4-3 loss to the Rangers Tuesday night, is unlikely for tomorrow night’s game against the Islanders…Blues ownership is talking with GM Doug Armstrong about a contract extension. He should get one based alone on how he stole Brayden Schenn out of Philadelphia…After missing three games with a lower-body injury and one with a virus, Jonathan Drouin may not be available tomorrow night when the Canadiens host Calgary…The Blue Jackets’ power play is 2-for-42 over the past 15 games. To the surprise of no one, it’s last overall…After some stellar play, Bruins goalie Anton Khudobin was pulled after allowing four goals on 14 shots in Boston’s 5-3 loss to Nashville Monday night…Hard to imagine Nathan Walker and Brandon Davidson will cure all that ills the Edmonton Oilers…Joe Thornton may have become the first player in NHL history to deliver a headshot with his bum…Wild coach Bruce Boudreau after his team collapsed in the third period in a 5-2 loss to Los Angeles Tuesday night: “They don’t have that self-confidence that I think that we had last year.”

VYING FOR THE PARTICIPATION BADGE

21. Florida Panthers (24)
22. Calgary Flames (16)
23. Chicago Blackhawks (20)
24. Arizona Coyotes (28)
25. Anaheim Ducks (27)
26. Detroit Red Wings (22)
27. Philadelphia Flyers (31)
28. Buffalo Sabres (30)
29. Ottawa Senators (29)
30. Carolina Hurricanes (13)
31. Colorado Avalanche (26)

The Panthers will be without goalie Roberto Luongo, “for an extended period of time,” according to coach Bob Boughner, after Luongo injured his groin making a save in Florida's 5-4 shootout loss to the Islanders Monday night…Jaromir Jagr will sit out Calgary’s game tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs with the same lower-body injury that plagued him earlier this season…The Blackhawks expect to get No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford back Sunday night when they host Florida…According to Forbes, the Coyotes are the NHL’s least valuable franchise. In other news, water is wet…The Ducks have won just one of their past eight games, but are only two points out of the last wild-card spot…It’s very, very close to being a lost season for the Red Wings, but you have to admire how they responded by getting dummied to the tune of 10-1 by Montreal Saturday night. Three nights later they beat the Winnipeg Jets, one of the league’s best teams, by a 5-1 score…With one year left on a deal that carries a cap hit of just under $4 million, Wayne Simmonds should have teams tripping over themselves to try to get him before the trade deadline…The Sabres finally got a goal from a defenseman when Jake McCabe scored in Buffalo’s 4-2 win over Colorado Tuesday night. It was the Sabres’ 28th game of the season and going into that game, their defensemen had gone a combined 162 games without a goal…The Senators have lost eight of their past nine games. They’ve scored a total of nine goals in those losses…This wasn’t supposed to happen. The Hurricanes were the envy of the league for their young, mobile defense corps. But only three of them – Justin Faulk, Noah Hanifin and Jaccob Slavin – have scored goals this season…The Avs have lost three in a row, including a basement showdown with Buffalo, to sink to the bottom of our Power Rankings. Let’s focus on the positive. Since teammate Matt Duchene was traded away, Nathan MacKinnon has 6-11-17 totals in 12 games.

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Source : http://www.thehockeynews.com/news/article/power-rankings-streaking-kings-snatch-crown-with-six-straight-wins

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