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Power Rankings: Predators continue to prey on all comers

Ken Campbell
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Power Rankings: Predators continue to prey on all comers

Predators celebrate Image by: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

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Power Rankings: Predators continue to prey on all comers

Ken Campbell
By:

The Predators haven't faltered even the slightest over the past week, and that has allowed Nashville to maintain top spot in the Power Rankings.

About the only problem the Nashville Predators have at the moment is they have too many good centermen. That’s a good problem to have, unless of course your name is Kyle Turris.

Turris, who was acquired earlier this season in a blockbuster trade, was a healthy scratch for Nashville’s 2-0 win over the Dallas Stars Tuesday night, a franchise-record ninth straight win. With Mike Fisher coming out of retirement, the Predators have a center ice corps of Ryan Johansen, Turris, Nick Bonino, Fisher and Colton Sissons. So if strength down the middle is any indicator of playoff success, the Predators look to be in very, very good shape. This might come as a surprise, but they have a lot of good defensemen, too, as evidenced by the fact that they’ve been without blueline anchor Roman Josi for three straight games and haven’t missed a bit.

For that reason and a few others, it should come as no surprise that the Predators find themselves at the top of thn.com’s Power Rankings again this week. (Last week’s ranking in parentheses.)

THE CREAM OF THE CROP
1. Nashville Predators (1)
2. Tampa Bay Lightning (4)
3. Boston Bruins (7)
4. Winnipeg Jets (10)
5. Minnesota Wild (2)
6. Pittsburgh Penguins (15)
7. Anaheim Ducks (11)
8. Columbus Blue Jackets (17)
9. Florida Panthers (14)
10. Colorado Avalanche (18)

The Predators shutout over Dallas Tuesday night was the 50th of Pekka Rinne’s career, making Rinne just the 18th goalie in NHL history to record at least 300 wins and 50 shutouts…Brayden Point has four overtime goals and four shootout winners for the Lightning so far this season, which means eight of Tampa’s points in the standings have come directly off Point’s stick. If there is a more underrated player in the NHL at the moment, please make a case…Brad Marchand also scored in overtime Tuesday night, which also gave him four OT winners this season. That’s tied for the league lead with Point…The Jets have 10 goals in their past three games and Patrik Laine has seven of them. He has at least one goal in eight of the past nine games and is two behind Alex Ovechkin in the race for the Rocket Richard Trophy…In their 6-2 win over Carolina Tuesday night, the Wild scored four goals in 3:28 to set a franchise record…What is it with unheralded rookie goalies in Pittsburgh? Tristan Jarry, who qualifies as a freshman, will almost certainly be the goalie on the NHL’s all-rookie team this year…Ducks goalie John Gibson is 8-1-1 since the all-star break with a league-leading .953 save percentage during that span…After going 25 games without scoring a goal, Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski had two in three games. His goal in a 4-1 win over Vegas Tuesday night gave him 13, which set a franchise record for goals by a defenseman in a season…The Panthers lost for the first time in seven games Tuesday night, 5-4 in overtime to Tampa, but showed some resilience by battling back from three two-goal deficits…Nathan MacKinnon leads the NHL in points per game, in part because he has 8-9-17 totals in nine games since missing eight with an upper body injury.

THE MUSHY MIDDLE
11. Vegas Golden Knights (9)
12. Washington Capitals (13)
13. New Jersey Devils (5)
14. Toronto Maple Leafs (6)
15. Philadelphia Flyers (3)
16. San Jose Sharks (12)
17. Dallas Stars (16)
18. Los Angeles Kings (8)
19. Chicago Blackhawks (26)
20. Edmonton Oilers (23)

The Golden Knights had not lost consecutive games on home ice until they dropped games against Los Angeles and Ottawa at the T-Mobile Arena. Is reality beginning to set in?...Alex Ovechkin still finds himself two goals shy of 600 for his career, but he still leads the league in goals…Taylor Hall may never go scoreless in a game ever again…Frederik Andersen might be watching his Vezina Trophy hopes slip away. He’s given up three or more goals in each of his past five starts…After going 3-0-0 and allowing only four goals in his first three starts with the Flyers, goalie Petr Mrazek went 0-2-1 and gave up 14 goals in his next three…The Sharks have gone 0-for-28 on the power play over their past 12 games…Stars goalie Ben Bishop will be out at least one more game with a knee injury that forced him to leave the Stars 3-2 overtime loss to Ottawa Monday night…By the time the Kings hit the ice tomorrow night against Washington, they will have had five days to stew over blowing a two-goal lead in a loss on home ice to Chicago on the weekend…The Blackhawks 2-1 win over Colorado Tuesday night was their first in overtime in more than two months…This is how tough it has been in Edmonton this season. Connor McDavid and his parents were heckled by some rather moronic fans as they left a restaurant recently. Piece of advice for GM Peter Chiarelli: Don’t go out for dinner in Edmonton.

VYING FOR THE PARTICIPATION BADGE
21. Arizona Coyotes (21)
22. Buffalo Sabres (22)
23. Calgary Flames (19)
24. Montreal Canadiens (28)
25. Detroit Red Wings (20)
26. Vancouver Canucks (29)
27. New York Rangers (27)
28. New York Islanders (24)
29. Ottawa Senators (30)
30. St. Louis Blues (31)
31. Carolina Hurricanes (25)

Coyotes defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson scored his first goal in 70 games in the Coyotes overtime loss to Edmonton Monday night…After scoring just eight points in his first 28 games, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has 24 points in his last 29 games…There was a Mike Smith sighting at the Flames’ optional practice in Buffalo Tuesday. The team’s MVP simply cannot come back soon enough…Before losing to New Jersey Tuesday night, the Canadiens had gone 3-0-4 in their previous seven. That’s good, right?...In his first start for the Red Wings this season, goalie Jared Coreau gave up two goals in the first 58 seconds of Detroit’s 6-5 overtime loss to Boston Tuesday night…Brock Boeser’s Calder Trophy hopes will take a hit with him being out four-to-six weeks with a back injury, but he’s expected to make a full recovery…Since the Rangers officially chucked their season at the trade deadline, goalie Henrik Lundqvist has a .942 save percentage in his past three starts…John Tavares on the Islanders’ seven game winning streak: “Obviously, this isn’t a whole lot of fun right now.”…Out since November with a hamstring injury, Senators defenseman Chris Wideman wasn’t supposed to play for the rest of the season, but may see action before this terrible campaign ends…Speaking of seasons ending, Jay Bouwmeester’s hip gave out and he’s out for the rest of the year, even in the extremely unlikely event the Blues make the playoffs…Another tough year for the analytics crowd. The Hurricanes are the best possession team in the NHL, but they’re terrible.

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Power Rankings: Predators continue to prey on all comers