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Crease Kings

Goaltender Jonathan Quick is congratulated by teammate Trevor Lewis after Los Angeles' 4-3 shootout overtime win against the San Jose Sharks. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

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Goaltender Jonathan Quick is congratulated by teammate Trevor Lewis after Los Angeles' 4-3 shootout overtime win against the San Jose Sharks. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Kings have had their share of ups and downs this year and despite having their top two scorers sidelined late in the season, they’re still on course for a playoff berth and a top-10 spot in THN.com’s latest NHL Power Rankings.

The Kings, who beat Dallas 3-1 Saturday in a crucial battle of Pacific Division rivals, currently sit fourth in the Western Conference and need just one point in their final four games to lock up a post-season slot. That’s impressive considering, within a one-week stretch in late March, key forwards Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams were sidelined for the year with serious injuries.

The Kings have been victorious in two of three games without Williams and Kopitar, once again leaning on the stellar goaltending skills of starter Jonathan Quick and backup Jonathan Bernier to get them wins. In their past nine wins, the goalies have surrendered just 13 goals and only once allowed as many as three goals in that span.

The Kings will need their netminders to be just as good in their remaining regular season games, as all four come against Pacific Division teams (one each against San Jose and Phoenix and a back-to-back, home-and-home series against Anaheim to end the season) either angling to make the playoffs or improve their post-season position.

THE HOCKEY NEWS POWER RANKINGS
RK.
TEAM
LW
OVERALL
P10
THE SCOOP

1

Vancouver Canucks

1

52-18-9

8-2-0

Relentless Canucks have a .912 winning percentage when leading after the first period (31-2-1)

2

Washington Capitals

2

46-22-11

7-2-1

Caps have league’s only plus-.500 win percentage when trailing after 20 minutes (15-11-3, .517)

3

San Jose Sharks

4

46-23-9

7-1-2

Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley combined for 254 points last season; with four games left to play this season, they’ve combined for 197

4

Detroit Red Wings

6

46-23-10

5-3-2

Wings have blocked just 887 shots this season; only Devils (839) have blocked fewer

5

Pittsburgh Penguins

5

46-25-8

7-3-0

Penguins haven’t won when trailing after 40 minutes of play (0-19-1)

6

Philadelphia Flyers

3

46-22-11

3-3-4

Slumping Flyers have only two power play goals in their past 11 games (2-for-28)

7

Phoenix Coyotes

7

42-25-12

7-2-1

Keith Yandle averaging 24:21 of ice time per game - nearly three minutes more than next-best Coyote (Adrian Aucoin, with 21:45)

8

Boston Bruins

9

44-23-11

6-2-2

Bruins worst in the league in takeaways (406)

9

Los Angeles Kings

8

45-27-6

7-2-1

Since beginning of March, Kings have killed off all but two of their opponents’ power plays (42 for 44)

10

Tampa Bay Lightning

14

44-24-11

6-2-2

Hot-and-cold Bolts on a roll with five straight wins

11

Nashville Predators

10

42-26-11

7-2-1

Preds’ final three regular season games all against non-playoff teams (Atlanta, Columbus and St. Louis)

12

Anaheim Ducks

11

44-30-5

7-3-0

Ryan Getzlaf leads team in hits (179)

13

New York Rangers

12

42-32-5

7-2-1

Blueshirts have yet to lose when leading after two periods (28-0-0)

14

Chicago Blackhawks

13

42-28-8

5-4-1

Hawks will face former Habs platoon in consecutive games this week when they take on Carey Price and Canadiens in Montreal Tuesday, then Jaro Halak and Blues in Chicago the next night

15

Carolina Hurricanes

19

38-30-11

7-2-1

Desperate Canes take on Wings, Thrashers and Lightning in their final three regular season games

16

Buffalo Sabres

16

40-29-10

6-2-2

Jhonas Enroth doing well in relief of injured Ryan Miller, but Sabres need their best player back to have any hope in playoffs

17

Montreal Canadiens

15

42-30-7

4-6-0

Tired Habs have two goals in their past four losses and both came in the same game

18

Toronto Maple Leafs

20

37-32-10

7-3-0

If Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin each score one more goal, Leafs will have three 30-goal scorers; last time they had two, it was Mats Sundin and Alex Mogilny in the 2002-03 campaign 

19

Calgary Flames

18

40-29-11

4-4-2

Jarome Iginla has 13 more goals, 16 more points than any other Calgary player

20

Dallas Stars

17

39-28-11

2-5-3

Sagging Stars just 10-23-9 when their opponent scores the game’s first goal

21

St. Louis Blues

22

36-33-10

5-4-1

Only Devils (26.2) have averaged fewer shots against per game than Blues (27.6)

22

Atlanta Thrashers

23

33-33-12

5-5-0

Thrashers are league’s softest team - only 1433 hits

23

New Jersey Devils

21

36-37-5

4-5-1

Devils a combined 23-16-3 against Atlantic and Southeast Division teams, but just 5-12-1 against Northeast Division

24

New York Islanders

24

30-37-12

3-5-2

Isles lead NHL in blocked shots (1345), takeaways (835)

25

Columbus Blue Jackets

25

34-32-13

2-5-3

Rick Nash likely to be the only Blue Jacket with more than 60 points this season

26

Minnesota Wild

26

37-34-8

2-7-1

In their past 18 losses, Wild have scored more than two goals only twice

27

Ottawa Senators

27

30-39-10

5-4-1

Sens have league’s worst 5-on-5 goals-for/against ratio (0.72)

28

Florida Panthers

28

29-38-12

1-6-3

Last time Panthers won two or more consecutive games came in mid-January

29

Colorado Avalanche

30

29-41-8

3-7-0

Avs are second only to Thrashers for league’s worst win percentage when scoring the first goal in a game (18-11-4, .545)

30

Edmonton Oilers

29

24-43-11

1-6-3

Oilers are the NHL’s most careless team; worst in the league in giveaways (937)

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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