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NHL Power Rankings: Bruins are on a tear

Welcome to the 12th edition of theScore’s 2018-19 NHL Power Rankings, which are published every two weeks during the regular season.

1. Tampa Bay Lightning (50-12-4)

The Lightning are in the midst of a dominant season, matching the 1995-96 Red Wings to become the second team in league history to win 50 of its first 66 games. That Detroit team went on to win a record 62 contests, and it should be a blast to see if Tampa can match that mark.

Previously: 1st

2. Boston Bruins (39-17-9) ▲

Boston has won nine of its last 10 games, and the Bruins haven’t lost in regulation since Jan. 19. Suddenly, the Bruins appear destined for home-ice advantage in a daunting Atlantic Division playoff picture.

Previously: 4th

3. Calgary Flames (41-17-7) ▲

Surely, the Flames wanted to secure two points for Jarome Iginla on his special night. But even after the disappointing result, Calgary is sitting pretty atop the Western Conference with 89 points, and a 7-2-1 record in the team’s last 10 games.

Previously: 5th

4. Toronto Maple Leafs (40-21-4) ▲

The Maple Leafs rank third league-wide in regulation-and-overtime wins (40) and second in goal differential (plus-47). However, finding a way to catch Boston is all that should matter right now for the Buds.

Previously: 6th

5. San Jose Sharks (39-19-8) ▼

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San Jose is excelling in advanced stats, but Martin Jones‘ .897 save percentage is a major concern as the playoffs inch closer.

Previously: 3rd

6. Washington Capitals (38-21-7) ▲

Washington’s rounded into shape lately, and the Capitals are in the hunt for the Metropolitan Division crown. As always, Alex Ovechkin is leading the way. He recently secured his record-breaking 10th season with 45-plus goals.

Previously: 14th

7. New York Islanders (37-21-7) ▼

Do not spurn the New York Islanders in free agency and expect to get away with it unscathed.

Previously: 2nd

8. Carolina Hurricanes (36-23-6) ▲

After winning eight of their last 10 games, including five in a row, the Hurricanes look dangerous. They’re getting solid goaltending to match an overwhelming attack. Look out for Carolina going forward.

Previously: 9th

9. Winnipeg Jets (39-22-4) ▼

The Jets beat the Blue Jackets on Sunday, but they’re sputtering a bit lately and need to get back on track soon. On their upcoming schedule, the Jets face six consecutive games against top-10 teams.

Previously: 7th

10. Pittsburgh Penguins (34-22-9) ▲

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The Penguins have struggled to find consistency all season, but captain Sidney Crosby appears ready to push his club to the playoffs. In his last 10 games, Sid has notched 21 points, and he’s now fifth in league scoring.

Previously: 18th

11. Vegas Golden Knights (36-26-5) ▲

Things have been looking up for Vegas, as the Golden Knights reeled off four straight victories after landing Mark Stone on trade deadline day. The Knights are now better positioned to compete with their Western Conference rivals come playoff time.

Previously: 17th

12. Nashville Predators (38-25-5) ▼

The Predators needed to improve their atrocious power play, and adding Mikael Granlund and Wayne Simmonds should do that once the two trade-deadline acquisitions get acclimated to Nashville’s system.

Previously: 11th

13. St. Louis Blues (34-25-6) ▼

The Blues have cooled off since our last rankings, dropping four of their last seven contests, with only one of those three wins coming in regulation. However, St. Louis remains in a postseason position for now, and Jordan Binnington continues to give his team a chance to win every game.

Previously: 8th

14. Minnesota Wild (32-27-7) ▲

The Wild won five straight games before Sunday’s shootout loss to the Predators, including impressive road victories over the Flames and Jets. Few predicted Minnesota would play this well after the team traded Granlund and Charlie Coyle before the deadline, but the Wild are exceeding recent expectations.

Previously: 19th

15. Montreal Canadiens (35-24-7) ▼

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Inconsistent play has dogged the Canadiens lately. Much like the Predators, Montreal needs to fix its weak power play, as the Habs’ efficiency rate ranks 31st with the man advantage.

Previously: 13th

16. Philadelphia Flyers (32-26-8) ▼

Philadelphia has won four of its last five, including a significant victory over the Islanders on Sunday. But there’s still plenty of work left for the Flyers to sneak into the postseason, as the team has recorded fewer regulation-or-overtime wins than the clubs ahead with no games in hand. Plus, Philadelphia is still posting a negative goal differential.

Previously: 10th

17. Arizona Coyotes (32-28-5) ▲

The once moribund Coyotes are on the playoff doorstep after winning six straight. Several teams have climbed back into the race in a lackluster Pacific Division. But Arizona deserves credit, even if the Coyotes haven’t beaten many powerhouses during their run.

Previously: 23rd

18. Columbus Blue Jackets (36-26-3) ▼

Columbus kept Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky through last Monday’s trade deadline while adding Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, and Adam McQuaid. General manager Jarmo Kekalainen went all-in for the stretch drive, but what will his team look like next season?

Previously: 15th

19. Dallas Stars (33-27-5) ▼

Dallas has won three of its last four games, but two of those wins came against the Kings and Blackhawks. The Stars are still among the NHL’s stingiest defensive teams, ranking third in goals against. But Dallas is also one of the league’s worst offensive squads, ranking 29th in goals for.

Previously: 12th

20. Colorado Avalanche (28-26-12)▲

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The Avalanche started rounding into form after our last edition, winning four straight. But they’ve been inconsistent lately, and hefty contributions from Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog might not be enough to get Colorado into the postseason.

Previously: 26th

21. Florida Panthers (28-26-11)▲

The Panthers have been grinding lately, going into extra time in four consecutive contests before Sunday’s regulation loss to the Senators. However, Florida produced only one win in that span, and Frank Vatrano hasn’t registered a point since signing his extension in late February.

Previously: 22nd

22. Buffalo Sabres (30-27-8) ▼

A difficult second half of the season is overshadowing the Sabres‘ promising start, but fans shouldn’t be discouraged. Buffalo could lose all 17 games the rest of the way and still finish with higher win and point totals than it did last year. The Sabres will likely miss the playoffs again, but they’re trending in the right direction.

Previously: 20th

23. Chicago Blackhawks (27-30-9) ▼

After an incredible 10-2 run launched the Blackhawks up the standings and into a playoff position briefly, the team has come back down to earth. Chicago has dropped four of its last five contests, conceding 23 goals in the process.

Previously: 16th

24. Edmonton Oilers (28-30-7) ▲

The Oilers picked up three of a possible four points with Connor McDavid serving his two-game suspension, but the Maple Leafs bullied them 6-2 in his return. Edmonton’s playoff chances are slim, but consecutive wins have Ken Hitchcock’s club playing with pride down the stretch.

Previously: 30th

25. New York Rangers (27-27-11) ▼

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New York has lost five of its last six games, including three straight since trading longtime Rangers Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes. Mika Zibanejad’s coming out party as a top-line center is one positive revelation for a team entering a rebuild.

Previously: 21st

26. Vancouver Canucks (27-30-9) ▼

The Canucks lingered around a playoff spot for most of the season, but they’ve fallen down the ladder after dropping six of their last seven outings. Travis Green’s group is struggling to build any momentum, failing to win consecutive games since Jan. 20.

Previously: 24th

27. New Jersey Devils (25-33-8) ▲

Injuries have mired the Devils‘ season, and the team is struggling to score. New Jersey has potted just four goals during a three-game losing skid, and the Devils rank 20th while averaging 2.83 goals per game.

Previously: 28th

28. Los Angeles Kings (24-33-8) ▼

The Kings finally ended a 10-game losing streak with a victory over the Blackhawks on Saturday. The win was their first on home ice since Jan. 21. L.A. deploys the league’s 30th-ranked offense while scoring 2.40 goals per game, and the Kings are one of three teams still waiting to roster a 20-goal scorer.

Previously: 27th

29. Detroit Red Wings (23-33-9) ▼

Dylan Larkin is providing Red Wings fans with a reason for excitement. In his fourth NHL season, the 22-year-old is on pace for a career-high 78 points, which would mark the highest single-season total by a Red Wing since 2010-11. Detroit has dropped seven straight games, however, and the team looks ready to hear the results of this year’s draft lottery.

Previously: 25th

30. Anaheim Ducks (25-32-9) ▲

It’s been a season to forget for the lowly Ducks. Since ending a franchise-worst 12-game losing streak in January, Anaheim has suffered through seven- and five-game slides. Over their last six contests, the Ducks have mustered seven goals while recording just one win in that span.

Previously: 31st

31. Ottawa Senators (23-38-5) ▼

After cleaning house at the deadline, none of the Senators’ top-six scorers from a season ago are on the team’s roster. Ottawa has recorded just five regulation wins since Dec. 15.

Previously: 29th

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