NHL Power Rankings: Fleury, Stone drive Golden Knights to top

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In this week’s edition of the NHL Power Rankings the Golden Knights climb to the top spot thanks to a six-game winning streak that has been driven by the two-way dominance of Mark Stone and the spectacular goaltending of Marc-Andre Fleury.

The Golden Knights look like a Stanley Cup contender for the fourth year in a row and might have their best team yet.

Just behind them are the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning, Maple Leafs, Hurricanes, and surprising Panthers to round out the top-five.

Where does your team sit?

To this week’s NHL Power Rankings!

1. Vegas Golden Knights. Mark Stone is playing at an MVP level and Marc-Andre Fleury is playing at a Vezina level. Actually, Fleury might be playing at an MVP level at this moment as well.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning. It is scary how good this team is at all levels. Even when you take an MVP and scoring champion away from their roster they still dominate everybody. No weakness here.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs. Little slip up against Vancouver this week, but that will happen over the course of a season. The North Division still belongs to them.

4. Carolina Hurricanes. The Vincent Trocheck trade is one I think a lot of people forgot about a year ago, but he is at a point-per-game pace and already has 13 goals in 22 games this season.

5. Florida Panthers. Sergei Bobrovsky is starting to play better. That is good news. Also good news is the fact their stars (Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau) are dominating.

6. New York Islanders. They feasted on Buffalo and New Jersey this week, which is exactly what a good team is supposed to do. The second half schedule gets a little tougher.

7. Washington Capitals. They need to get Tom Wilson straightened out because he is too good of a player to lose for significant portions of the season because he can not control himself.

8. Boston Bruins. Charlie McAvoy has to be in the Norris discussion at this point. Still need to see a little more scoring depth at forward from this team.

9. Colorado Avalanche. Their biggest issue right now is injuries, and they are starting to mount. Mikko Rantanen and Samuel Girard are stepping up in a big way, though.

10. St. Louis Blues. Speaking of good teams dealing with injuries, say hello to the Blues. Getting Vladimir Tarasenko back is a good start.

[Your 2020-21 NHL On NBC TV Schedule]

11. Winnipeg Jets. Mark Scheifele is very quietly having a monster season for a Jets team that is very quietly having a strong season.

12. Pittsburgh Penguins. Evgeni Malkin is starting to heat up, and he seems to be developing some chemistry with Kasperi Kapanen. Their second half schedule is the softest of the teams competing for a playoff spot in the East.

13. Minnesota Wild. They should be able to secure that fourth playoff spot in the West, and it will be fun to see Kirill Kaprizov on the playoff stage.

14. Philadelphia Flyers. Still the most confusing team in the league. The results are fine, the process behind them is shaky. Carter Hart has regressed and they need that to change.

15. Chicago Blackhawks. Not a great defensive team and the forward depth is a concern, but the Patrick Kane-Alex DeBrincat duo and Kevin Lankinen are keeping them in it.

16. Edmonton Oilers. The three games against Toronto seemed like a good measuring stick for where they are. They are not close.

17. New York Rangers. Alexis Lafreniere is starting to produce a little more and become more noticeable. Not every top pick is going to be an immediate superstar. It takes time.

18. Montreal Canadiens. Tyler Toffoli is quietly gaining ground in the goal scoring race.

19. Arizona Coyotes. Conor Garland keeps getting better every year he is in the league and is becoming their top offensive playmaker.

20. Los Angeles Kings. They are hanging in the race, but they see a lot of St. Louis, Colorado, and Vegas over the next month. Big challenge ahead for them.

21. Calgary Flames. Darryl Sutter is back and he has a mess to clean up.

22. Columbus Blue Jackets. John Tortorella gets the vote of confidence from the GM, but this seems like an uphill battle here for making the playoffs. They only have two head-to-head games remaining with Chicago — the team they are chasing — and a lot of games against Carolina and Tampa.

23. Nashville Predators. The question is not whether or not they sell at the trade deadline, but how much they sell and how much of a change they are looking to make.

[Roundtable: Fixing the Predators]

24. Dallas Stars. Injuries are taking their toll on this team right now. Since starting the year 5-1-1 the Stars are 2-7-4 in the games since.

25. Vancouver Canucks. They stunned Toronto in back-to-back games this week, but it is probably not enough to make a difference. They are still four points out of a playoff spot and have played five more games than the team they are chasing. That is going to be nearly impossible to make up.

26. Ottawa Senators. There is a lot of young talent here, they play hard, they are fun to watch, and every once in a while they just show up and embarrass an unsuspecting opponent that was probably hoping for an easy game.

27. San Jose Sharks. There is not much to like here in the short-term or long-term.

28. New Jersey Devils. Jack Hughes is coming along nicely, but he needs some help around him.

29. Anaheim Ducks. Just not enough talent offensively to even pose a threat to opposing defenses or goalies.

30. Detroit Red Wings. At the start of the season a reasonable expectation would have been seeing the young players improve and the short-term veteran acquisitions play well enough to boost their trade value. Not sure either is happening.

31. Buffalo Sabres. Their fans deserve better than this.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Bruins set NHL record with 12 straight home wins to start season

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

BOSTON — The Boston Bruins set the NHL record for most home victories to start a season with their 12th straight, topping the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime with a power-play goal from David Pastrnak.

The Bruins broke the mark of 11 that was set by the 1963-64 Chicago Blackhawks and equaled by the Florida Panthers last season.

“That felt awesome,” Bruins first-year coach Jim Montgomery said. “We talked about it after the second (period) going into the third. There’s been a lot of great teams in this league and you’re able to set a precedent, break a record. It’s pretty special and it doesn’t happen if those guys don’t believe in themselves like they do.”

Boston, which trailed 2-0 late in the second period, tied it with 9:33 left in regulation when David Krejci scored his second of the game on a shot from the right point.

“It’s never fun being down going into the third, you’re sitting in here (in the locker room) trying to figure it out,” Krejci said. “You want to come out and do the job, something special on the line. It’s hard to win in this league. To get 12 in a row at home is pretty special.”

In overtime, Carolina was playing shorthanded after being called for too many men on the ice when Pastrnak one-timed a pass from Brad Marchand inside the far post from above the left circle.

“It was a big win for us, obviously, coming from behind,” Pastrnak said.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Stefan Noesen each scored a power-play goal for Carolina, and Pyotr Kochetkov made 38 saves. The Hurricanes lost their fifth straight.

In a rematch of last spring’s opening-round playoff series that the Hurricanes won in seven games, Carolina shutout the NHL’s highest scoring team for nearly two periods and jumped ahead a pair of power-play goals in the opening period.

“We took too many penalties. That’s hurting us right now,” Kotaniemi said. “I think 5-on-5 we’re doing a really good job. We started good tonight and couldn’t keep that up.”

Boston’s tying goal was originally disallowed because of goaltender interference on Nick Foligno but overturned on a coach’s challenge after it was ruled that he was nudged into the crease by Carolina defenseman Brett Pesce.

Boston starting goaltender Linus Ullmark made 28 saves but had to leave with 13:03 left in the third period with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Teammate Connor Clifton had jumped on him to block a shot during a scramble. Jeremy Swayman made six stops in relief.

Carolina’s Noesen scored at 6:34 in to make it 1-0. And with five minutes left in the period, Kotkaniemi collected the puck near the side of the net after Seth Jarvis‘ shot bounced off the back glass and slipped it inside the post at 15:05.

Krejci scored for Boston with 31 seconds left in the second.

Boston came in with a league-high 82 goals in 20 games (4.10 per game), but it was held to relatively few chances despite getting a 5-on-3 power-play advantage early on.


The Bruins honored captain Patrice Bergeron, who recorded his 1,000th career point when the team was on the road against Tampa Bay, with a message on the Jumbotron. The crowd gave him a standing ovation.

Bergeron became just the fourth Bruin to reach the mark, joining Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (1,506), Johnny Bucyk (1,339) and Phil Esposito (1,012).


Hurricanes: Host the Calgary Flames.

Bruins: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Predators postpone 2 games due to Nashville water main break

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. —  The Nashville Predators postponed two home games because of a water main break that soaked their downtown arena.

Hours after the Predators decided they couldn’t play against the Colorado Avalanche, the team announced it also postponed the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Makeup dates for the two games will be announced later.

The NHL said the water main break that occurred “significantly impacted the event level” of Bridgestone Arena. Team locker rooms and the ice surface are on the event level.

Predators President and CEO Sean Henry told reporters that the water in the event level ranged from 3 inches to 3 feet.

“We’re assessing it right now. We’re remediating it,” Henry said. “The good thing is, the water got shut off, the city responded in a pretty fast manner. I don’t think anyone is ready for things like this the Friday after Thanksgiving.”

Video posted by a WTVF-TV reporter shows the water puddled up on the main floor’s concourse area and the team store. The team was forced to close the store until further notice, pointing shoppers online for Black Friday specials.

The Predators’ next home game is now scheduled for Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks.

The water issue also resulted in a switch to a different venue for a college hockey game between Northeastern and Western Michigan. They also had been scheduled to play at Bridgestone Arena, a game that was moved to Ford Ice Center Bellevue.

Rangers trade Ryan Reaves to Wild for 5th-round pick in 2025

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The New York Rangers traded enforcer Ryan Reaves to the Minnesota Wild for a 2025 fifth-round pick.

Reaves had been a healthy scratch for eight of the past 12 games for the Rangers. He gives struggling Minnesota some extra muscle and a veteran presence.

The 35-year-old is signed through only the rest of this season at a $1.75 million salary cap hit. He has no points and 12 penalty minutes in 12 games of his second season with New York.

Reaves has played in 869 NHL regular-season and playoff games for the St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vegas Golden Knights and Rangers. He was with the Golden Knights during their inaugural season in 2017-18 when the reached the Stanley Cup Final.

Toronto’s Morgan Rielly placed on long-term injured reserve

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs placed defenseman Morgan Rielly on long-term injured reserve with a knee injury.

Rielly was hurt in a collision with with New York forward Kyle Palmieri early in the third period of Toronto’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Islanders at home.

Rielly has no goals and 16 assists in 20 games this season and is averaging 23 minutes of ice time.

Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said following practice that the 28-year-old Rielly doesn’t need surgery, adding there’s no firm timeline for his return beyond the minimum 24 days and 10 games required for going on long-term injured reserve.

Toronto’s defense is also missing Jake Muzzin with a neck injury and T.J. Brodie with an injured oblique.