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Power Rankings: Rangers score their way to the top

Ken Campbell
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Power Rankings: Rangers score their way to the top

News

Power Rankings: Rangers score their way to the top

Ken Campbell
By:

The Rangers have been the most explosive team in the NHL this season by a wide margin. They've scored at least five goals nine times, six once and seven twice in 2016-17.

You really don’t need to be the second coming of Howie Meeker to ascertain that in today’s low-scoring NHL, five goals is pretty much a gimme when it comes to getting a game in the win column. The New York Rangers certainly realize that. Man, can these guys score goals. After a 7-2 drubbing of Vancouver Tuesday night, the Rangers lead the league with a mind-boggling 4.24 goals per game, which is almost a full goal over the next best team. They’ve scored at least five goals in nine of the 17 games this season and have won all nine, including a string in which they did it in six straight games.

In fact, the only two teams that have stood between the Rangers and a 13-game winning streak are Carolina and Vancouver, which seems a little odd. So it should come as no surprise that the Rangers make their season debut as the No. 1 team in thn.com’s weekly Power Rankings. Last week’s rankings are in parentheses:

THE CREAM OF THE CROP

1. New York Rangers (4)

2. New Jersey Devils (9)

3. Montreal Canadiens (2)

4. Chicago Blackhawks (1)

5. Boston Bruins (17)

6. Tampa Bay Lightning (13)

7. Pittsburgh Penguins (3)

8. Columbus Blue Jackets (6)

9. Ottawa Senators (19)

10. Florida Panthers (15)

Chris Kreider missed his second straight game under rather mysterious circumstances in the Canucks 7-2 win over Vancouver Tuesday night. Coach Alain Vigneault was evasive when asked whether it was a concussion…Riding a five-game winning streak, the Devils have three in tough California without Taylor Hall…The Canadiens 3-2 overtime loss to Florida Tuesday night marked the first time Carey Price lost a game at any level in 383 days, or back when Donald Trump was a harmless punchline…With the circus in town, the Hawks started a 13-day road trip with a rather putrid 4-0 loss to Winnipeg Tuesday night…Are the NHL’s two best goalies residing in the Atlantic Division? Tuukka Rask is looking like a Vezina contender again…Getting sent home from an extended road trip, as the injured Steven Stamkos was, is never a good thing…Spectacular, but odd, stats line for Sidney Crosby after just nine games: 10-3-13…Zach Werenski is making a great case for rookie of the year. He had 12 shot attempts in the Blue Jackets’ 2-1 overtime win over Washington Tuesday…Erik Karlsson’s next point will be the 400th of his career. He'll almost certainly do it in fewer than 500 games…Aaron Ekblad’s overtime goal against Montreal Tuesday night was just his third goal and point of the season.

THE MUSHY MIDDLE

11. Winnipeg Jets (20)

12. Washington Capitals (7)

13. Anaheim Ducks (11)

14. St. Louis Blues (8)

15. Toronto Maple Leafs (21)

16. San Jose Sharks (8)

17. Minnesota Wild (16)

18. Philadelphia Flyers (18)

19. Carolina Hurricanes (29)

20. Dallas Stars (25)

The Jets scored three third-period goals in their 4-0 win over Chicago Tuesday night and lead the league with 25 third-period goals…What’s this? In the Capitals 2-1 overtime loss to Columbus Tuesday night, Alex Ovechkin played just 14:12, the lowest total he’s played in a game in his career in which he wasn’t injured or ejected…One game after being pulled in a 5-0 loss to Nashville, John Gibson stopped 33 shots in Anaheim’s 4-1 win over Edmonton Tuesday night…The Blues should tick upward soon. They’re 6-2-1 at home and have seven of their next nine at the Scottrade Center…Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on the play of rookie Mitch Marner: “I’ve never coached a kid that young, that good just because we’ve never been in that situation before.”…The Sharks have had 20 and 22 shots on goal in their past two games, the two lowest totals they’ve posted in that department this season…Losing 1-0 twice in a five game span is bad enough. But the Wild lost those games to Colorado and Calgary, two teams among the bottom 10 defensively in the NHL…Speaking of impressive rookies, Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov led the team with 22:43 in ice time in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Ottawa and had 11 shot attempts…In their 1-0 win over Minnesota Tuesday night, the Hurricanes gave up just two shots in the second period…Jason Spezza returned after missing five games with a lower-body injury and had no shots and no points in a 2-1 overtime loss to New Jersey Tuesday night.

VYING FOR THE PARTICIPATION BADGE

21. Edmonton Oilers

22. Nashville Predators

23. Detroit Red Wings

24. Colorado Avalanche

25. Los Angeles Kings

26. Calgary Flames

27. New York Islanders

28. Vancouver Canucks

29. Buffalo Sabres

30. Arizona Coyotes

As dangerous as Connor McDavid has been, it has to be a concern to the Oilers that he’s gone nine games without a goal…James Neal has scored in five consecutive games for the Predators, but Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen each have only one goal so far…Stamkos wasn’t the only player injured in Tampa Bay’s win over Detroit Tuesday night. The Red Wings lost Darren Helm when he fell on his left shoulder. It looks as though he’ll be out a while…After being pulled in a game against St. Louis Nov. 6, Avs' goalie Semyon Varlamov has gone 2-1-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average and .958 save percentage in three starts…The Kings’ 4-1 loss to Colorado Tuesday night was the second straight game captain Anze Kopitar missed with an upper-body injury…What a shame. Johnny Gaudreau was just starting to heat up when he broke his finger after getting hacked and slashed all night by the Minnesota Wild. Good work, NHL…The Islanders were booed off the ice in their 4-0 loss to Tampa Bay Monday night. It was Jack Capuano’s sixth anniversary of being named coach of the Islanders and if this keeps up, he won’t see a seventh…Canucks’ GM Jim Benning on his team’s scoring woes this season: “Between Loui (Eriksson) and Sven (Baertschi) and some of the other players, I would have expected them to score more goals by now for sure.”…Sabres’ defensemen have a combined zero goals in 96 games this season…Goalie Mike Smith, who has been out since the second game of the season, and center Martin Hanzal, who has missed the past five games, are expected to be back tonight when Arizona visits Calgary.

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Power Rankings: Rangers score their way to the top