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Power Rankings: Kings finding their mojo after slow start to season

Ken Campbell
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Christian Ehrhoff (left), Anze Kopitar and Jamie McBain (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

News

Power Rankings: Kings finding their mojo after slow start to season

Ken Campbell
By:

After opening the season with a three-game losing streak, the Los Angeles Kings are riding high and find themselves in first place in the Pacific Division. They have points in each of their past seven games.

If you throw away the first three games of the season, there have not been many teams that have been as good as the Los Angles Kings. After dropping their first three, the Kings have gone on an 18-5-1 tear that includes a seven-game winning streak, a three-game and a five-game streak they carry into Pittsburgh Friday night.

With points in each of their past seven games, the Kings find themselves at the top of thn.com’s weekly Power Rankings, but there isn’t much separating the top five teams at the moment. Last week’s rankings are in parentheses.

THE CREAM OF THE CROP
1. Los Angeles Kings (5)
2. Washington Capitals (1)
3. Dallas Stars (4)
4. Detroit Red Wings (13)
5. Chicago Blackhawks (15)
6. New York Islanders (7)
7. Montreal Canadiens (5)
8. New York Rangers (8)
9. Boston Bruins (3)
10. Ottawa Senators (20)

The best news for the Kings is that Anze Kopitar (3-6-9 in his past nine games) and Marian Gaborik (2-2-4 in his past five) have picked up the pace offensively…The Capitals had a six-game winning streak stopped in a controversial 2-1 overtime loss to Winnipeg on the weekend, but they have points in 11 of their past 12 games…The Stars have lost only seven games this season – five in regulation and two in extra time – and six of them have been to non-playoff teams…As flawed a stat as plus-minus is, it’s interesting to see rookie Dylan Larkin on top of the NHL at plus-20. He’s drawing comparisons to Jonathan ToewsPatrick Kane’s most productive months historically have been November and December, which bodes well for his 23-game points streak… With points in each of their past eight, the Islanders have begun to grasp the defensive side of the game. They’ve given up only 14 goals in those games…When the Canadiens signed Alex Semin this summer for $1.1 million, it was seen as a low-risk, low-return transaction. And that’s exactly how it turned out…After going an uncharacteristic 1-4-1 in his previous six, Henrik Lundqvist looked sharp in a 4-1 win over Ottawa on the weekend…The Bruins will try tonight to put the brakes to a 1-9-2 in their last 12 games against the Canadiens this season, including two 4-2 losses this season…Mike Hoffman’s accountant continues to rub his fingers with glee. The pending restricted free agent has 11 goals in 11 games, including the game-winner against Florida Tuesday night.

THE MUSHY MIDDLE
11. Edmonton Oilers (29)
12. St. Louis Blues (12)
13. Minnesota Wild (13)
14. New Jersey Devils (17)
15. Nashville Predators (14)
16. Anaheim Ducks (23)
17. Calgary Flames (25
18. Philadelphia Flyers (12)
19. Tampa Bay Lightning (18)
20. Toronto Maple Leafs (24)

The roller coaster continues, with the Oilers going from the draft lottery to three points out of third place in the Pacific Division with a 4-1-1 run. Don’t laugh about their ranking. They’ve won three in a row, two against very good teams…Prior to their 4-1 win over Phoenix Tuesday night, the Blues had scored just one goal in each of their three previous games…The Wild are leaving some valuable points on the table. Their 2-1 overtime loss to Colorado Monday night left them with a 1-5 record in 3-on-3 OT play…Already playing without Travis Zajac, the Devils lost another top center when Adam Henrique went down in the Devils 3-2 shootout loss to Toronto Tuesday night after a collision with Leafs goalie Garret Sparks…When the Predators beat Boston 3-2 Sunday, it marked the first time in almost a month that they had beaten a playoff team…Between Dec. 6 and 17, the Ducks will have played a grand total of one game…After losing their first five games of the season at home, the Flames have reeled off seven straight victories at the Scotiabank Saddledome, with a home game against the reeling Sabres coming up tomorrow night…With one goal on 81 shots this season, Jakub Voracek has six goals in his last 60 games, with just one of those coming 5-on-5…After missing 12 games with an ankle injury, Ondrej Palat is expected back in the Lightning lineup Thursday night…After winning two in a row for just the third time this season, the Maple Leafs have an entire week off.

VYING FOR THE PARTICIPATION BADGE
21. Pittsburgh Penguins (6)
22. Florida Panthers (11)
23. Winnipeg Jets (22)
24. Vancouver Canucks (19)
25. Colorado Avalanche (27)
26. Carolina Hurricanes (30)
27. San Jose Sharks (9)
28. Columbus Blue Jackets (26)
29. Buffalo Sabres (28)
30. Arizona Coyotes (21)

With his team trying to salvage a road trip, GM Jim Rutherford changed his travel plans and flew directly to Denver from the board of governors meeting and he had some pointed words for his team, saying it is not motivated or determined enough…Just hours after the Panthers received an $86 million bailout from Broward County that will keep the team in South Florida, they bailed out in the third period, giving up three goals to lose 4-2 to Ottawa…If the Jets fail to make the playoffs, they can blame their 3-8-0 record against Central Division teams for much of their woes…Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov has a .955 save percentage in his past three starts…Two nights after overcoming three deficits to beat Arizona, the Hurricanes battled back from a 5-1 deficit to tie Dallas 5-5, only to lose on a goal with 19 seconds remaining…After missing almost two months of the season, Logan Couture returned for San Jose’s 4-2 loss to Calgary Tuesday night and had an assist…The Blue Jackets lost Sergei Bobrovsky late in the third period of their 3-2 overtime loss to Los Angeles Tuesday night…One bright spot for the Sabres has been the play of Jamie McGinn, who has a six-game point streak with 2-5-7 totals in that span…The Coyotes completed an ugly, ugly road trip with a 4-1 loss in St. Louis Tuesday night. They lost all five games and were outscored 24-10.

 

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Power Rankings: Kings finding their mojo after slow start to season