Power Rankings: Capitals on top of almost every category these days

Ken Campbell
Evgeny Kuznetsov celebrates another Caps goal (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
Evgeny Kuznetsov celebrates another Caps goal (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

No team in the NHL has a better winning percentage at home than the Washington Capitals. No team in the NHL has a better winning percentage on the road than the Washington Capitals. So basically, you name the place and the Capitals will be there to beat you.

With a differential of plus-56, the Capitals are 24 goals better in that department and stand first in the league in goals per game and second goals against per game. So basically, you name the style of play in the game and the Capitals will be there to beat you. And their power play is best in the NHL, so take liberties against them and they will be there to beat you.

With so much beating going on, it’s no surprise that the Capitals are at the top of both the NHL standings and the THN.com Power Rankings for this week. (Pre-all-star break rankings from Jan. 27 are in parentheses.):

CREAM OF THE CROP
1.
Washington Capitals (2)
2. Florida Panthers (1)
3. Pittsburgh Penguins (4)
4. New York Rangers (13)
5. Detroit Red Wings (15)
6. New York Islanders (17)
7. Chicago Blackhawks (6)
8. Dallas Stars (5)
9. Anaheim Ducks (10)
10. San Jose Sharks (3)

The Capitals lacked secondary scoring without Marcus Johansson and got it with three points from Johansson in a 5-3 win over Nashville when he returned to the lineup Tuesday night after missing four games…Defenseman Alex Petrovic had a Gordie Howe hat trick and a hat trick of fights in the Panthers 7-4 win over Buffalo Tuesday night…With an NHL-best 11-game point streak and goals in seven straight games, could Sidney Crosby actually be making a late run for the Hart Trophy?…Henrik Lundqvist has started 21 of 22 games, but Rangers coach Alain Vigneault says Antti Raanta will play once a week down the stretch…Jimmy Who? Petr Mrazek has taken over the Detroit net and leads NHL regulars in both save percentage (.933) and goals-against average (1.97)…The Islanders hadn’t scored eight goals in a game in almost five years before trouncing Edmonton by an 8-1 score over the weekend…After his team lost for the first time at home in 2016, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville stormed out of his news conference Tuesday night, incensed at a goaltender interference call in a 2-0 loss to San Jose…Mired in a slump and starting just his first game in seven, Kari Lehtonen was outstanding in a 4-3 overtime win over Minnesota Tuesday night…Frederik Andersen might just be winning his starting job back. He’s won his past six starts for the Ducks…The Sharks are 14-5-3 with Logan Couture in the lineup this season, 14-15-1 when he has been injured.

THE MUSHY MIDDLE
11. St. Louis Blues (8)
12. Los Angeles Kings (7)
13. Montreal Canadiens (25)
14. Ottawa Senators (22)
15. New Jersey Devils (18)
16. Tampa Bay Lightning (9)
17. Boston Bruins (16)
18. Winnipeg Jets (23)
19. Calgary Flames (28)
20. Nashville Predators (11)

The Blues D-corps took a big hit when it was learned that Alex Pietrangelo will miss the next three weeks with a knee injury. But if there’s any team that can absorb a significant injury, it’s the Blues. They’ve been doing it all season…The Kings scored nine goals in a road game for the first time in 23 years when they bludgeoned the Bruins 9-2 Tuesday night…Since his name came up in trade rumors, all Tomas Plekanec has done for the Canadiens is score eight points in his past four games…A couple of hours before the Senators acquired Dion Phaneuf from Toronto in a nine-player deal, an earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale hit Ottawa. Not making that up…On a night when the Devils honored Martin Brodeur, Cory Schneider showed why he should be seriously considered for the Vezina Trophy with 19 saves in a 2-1 win over Edmonton…As good as the Lightning have been lately, they’ve dropped their past three on the road by a combined score of 14-5…The 57 shots the Bruins gave up against Los Angeles Tuesday night was the most they’ve given up since the Original Six era, almost 51 years…Asked on Twitter if the Dustin Byfuglien signing marked the first time in history that the Jets, either the previous or current incarnation, had retained a significant pending unrestricted free agent. Nobody came up with another one…With his team fighting for its playoff lives, Calgary coach Bob Hartley benched Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Lance Bouma Tuesday night for violating team rules. Luckily, the Flames were playing the Maple Leafs. And perhaps Monahan isn’t quite so boring after all.

VYING FOR THE PARTICIPATION BADGE
21. Carolina Hurricanes (14)
22. Vancouver Canucks (27)
23. Columbus Blue Jackets (24)
24. Arizona Coyotes (19)
25. Colorado Avalanche (12)
26. Philadelphia Flyers (21)
27. Minnesota Wild (20)
28. Toronto Maple Leafs (30)
29. Buffalo Sabres (26)
30. Edmonton Oilers (29)

The Stanley Cup will be in the building as the Hurricanes chase a playoff spot with home games against Pittsburgh Friday night and the Islanders Saturday. It’s part of the celebrations to commemorate the Hurricanes team that won the franchise’s only Cup 10 years ago…Bo Horvat has been outstanding lately with 8-7-15 totals in his past 14 games…Over his past seven starts, Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo has a 4-1-2 record with a 2.07 goals-against average and .940 save percentage…The Coyotes faced a very good test with consecutive games against Los Angeles, Chicago and Anaheim and they failed it. They extracted only one point out of those games…Speaking of teams falling, Avalanche managed to get just one point in a four-game home stand and were booed off the ice after losing 3-1 to Vancouver Tuesday night…The Flyers had six hooking penalties – yes, six – in their 4-1 loss to Anaheim Tuesday night…One of several reasons the Wild are so bad this season: They’re 1-10 in games that have gone beyond 60 minutes…With a tandem of Auston Matthews and Steven Stamkos, the Maple Leafs have potentially their best 1-2 punch in franchise history. Wait a minute. We’re getting ahead of ourselves here…The Sabres gave up four goals in the first 21 minutes of their 7-4 loss to Florida Tuesday night. “That was an embarrassing effort to have at home,” said Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges. “It’s unacceptable.”…With Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid, the Oilers have potentially their best 1-2 punch since Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier. Wait a minute. We’re getting ahead of ourselves here. But are we?