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Devil-ish charm

The Devils have been lighting up the Penguins and everyone else of late. (Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

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The Devils have been lighting up the Penguins and everyone else of late. (Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

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.

THE HOCKEY NEWS POWER RANKINGS
RK.
TEAM
LW
THE SCOOP
1
Detroit Red Wings
1
Johan Franzen leads the Wings with nine power play goals.
2
New York Rangers
2
Five of 11 remaining games in February are against divisional opponents
3
Nashville Predators
5
Preds have lost in regulation just four times since Dec. 26
4
Vancouver Canucks
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
St. Louis Blues
3
Blues scored just two goals in as many games since the all-star break, but managed to win one of them
6
Boston Bruins
4
Tyler Seguin leads B's in goals (20), game-winners (five) and plus-minus (plus-33)
7
San Jose Sharks
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
New Jersey Devils
14
Devils have just four regulation losses in their past 17 games
9
Pittsburgh Penguins
10
Light week for Pens: Habs Tuesday, Jets Saturday, Bolts Sunday
10
Philadelphia Flyers
9
Rookie Sean Couturier leads Flyers with two shorthanded goals and has three game-winners
11
Chicago Blackhawks
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
Toronto Maple Leafs
12
Toronto's goaltending duo of James Reimer and Jonas Gustavsson arguably league's hottest tandem
13
Florida Panthers
16
Cats beat Capitals in crucial divisional game last week, face Washington twice more this month
14
Washington Capitals
11
Caps have just one shorthanded goal all season
15
Los Angeles Kings
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
Ottawa Senators
13
Sagging Sens have just one point in their past six games
17
Calgary Flames
19
Injury to Lee Stempniak the latest hurdle for playoff-starved Flames to overcome
18
Dallas Stars
17
Michael Ryder on pace for 28-goal season, which would be his best since 2006-07 in Montreal
19
Minnesota Wild
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
Colorado Avalanche
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
Tampa Bay Lightning
22
Steve Downie tied with Brett Clark for Bolts' worst plus-minus (minus-16)
22
Phoenix Coyotes
21
Yotes play Flames, Canucks, Kings twice this month
23
Winnipeg Jets
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
New York Islanders
26
Matt Moulson an impressive plus-11 on inconsistent Isles; next best are John Tavares/Travis Hamonic (plus-4)
25
Buffalo Sabres
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
Carolina Hurricanes
28
Eric Staal (38) the sole Cane with 30 or more points this year
27
Montreal Canadiens
25
Only Coyotes (12.3 percent) have a worse power play than Canadiens (12.5)
28
Anaheim Ducks
24
No team averages fewer shots on net than intermittently mighty Ducks (26.4)
29
Edmonton Oilers
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
Columbus Blue Jackets
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.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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