NHL Power Rankings: Oilers, Wild, Maple Leafs keep climbing

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In this week’s edition of the NHL Power Rankings the Carolina Hurricanes regain the top spot in their weekly back-and-forth battle with the Florida Panthers, the Edmonton Oilers inch their way to the top, and the Toronto Maple Leafs continue their recent climb.

At the other end of the spectrum it is a tough week for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Vancouver Canucks, while the Arizona Coyotes remain at the bottom.

We take a look at all of those teams and everybody in between.

Where does your team rank?

To this week’s NHL Power Rankings!

1. Carolina Hurricanes (Last Week: 2). Have they cooled off a little over the past week-and-half? Maybe. But they still have the league’s best record, best goal differential, and look like a real Stanley Cup challenger.

2. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 3). Still not sure how much I trust this team after the top two guys (Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl) but you can not ignore this start. They are banking points in a weak division. That will help them in the long run.

3. Minnesota Wild (LW: 6). They are off to one of the best starts in franchise history and only getting mediocre goaltending while Kirill Kaprizov has not really gone off yet.

4. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 9). With wins in eight of their past nine games that 2-4-1 start already seems like it was an eternity ago.

5. Washington Capitals (LW: 12). Alex Ovechkin is still unstoppable. They are on a roll without Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie, and Anthony Mantha in the lineup right now.

[Related: Ovechkin passes Hull for fourth place on NHL all-time goal scoring list]

6. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 7). Oh yeah, these guys. They are still pretty good in case you forgot. Even without Nikita Kucherov they are still on a 5-0-2 run over their past seven games.

7. Florida Panthers (LW: 1). Not going to worry too much about the recent losing streak. Every team hits a rut at some point. This is still an outstanding team.

8. St. Louis Blues (LW: 5). Vladimir Tarasenko is back to being an impact player. Being healthy helps.

9. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 11). They made some important additions to their defense and now this team looks like a sneaky contender. Kyle Connor is fantastic and Pierre-Luc Dubois might be having that breakout season.

10. New York Rangers (LW: 14). Their underlying numbers are lousy, but they have a great goalie and a couple of superstars. That will take you somewhere.

11. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 16). Yeah, they are going to be fine. When they get healthy this will be a top-three roster on paper in the NHL.

12. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 20). John Gibson is having a much-needed bounce back season and Troy TerryTroy Terry?!is carrying the offense for the hottest NHL team right now.

13. Colorado Avalanche (LW: 18). Like Vegas, another contender that got off to a slow start that is starting to get things back on track. Do not worry about this team. At all.

14. Calgary Flames (LW: 4). Goaltending is the story here. Jacob Markstrom and Dan Vladar both have save percentages north of .934 and they have combined for five shutouts this season in only 15 games.

[Related: Are the Flames for real?]

15. Boston Bruins (LW: 17). Still do not like how dependent they are on the top line right now. That will have to change.

16. Nashville Predators (LW: 23). They are exceeding expectations so far. Juuse Saros is a big part of that. Just like he was a year ago.

17. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 23). Anze Kopitar and Jonathan Quick trying to show they still have it. Kopitar’s play this season is not a surprise. Quick’s play is.

18. New York Islanders (LW: 8). They are 27th in goals per game and sixth in goals against per game. Ah, yes. Islanders hockey.

19. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 19). For the first time in five years this team is worth watching. They are getting there.

20. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 10). They have not had enough consistency from game-to-game. Except for the goalies. They have been great. This is like the bizarro Flyers team.

21. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 13). When Elvis Merzlikins plays, they are very good. When he does not play, they struggle. They will go as far as he takes them.

22. New Jersey Devils (LW: 22). It is a shame that Jack Hughes has missed almost the entire season so far because this could be an interesting team with him.

23. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 15). Their power play is crushing them. They are just 4-for-46 on the power play this season and have allowed two shorthanded goals.

24. Dallas Stars (LW: 25). Rick Bowness knows what the problem is. He just does not care to tell you.

[Related: Bowness confident he can fix Stars’ early-season woes]

25. Chicago Blackhawks (LW: 31). They are 3-0-0 under Derek King and have allowed only four goals. Quite a change from what we saw under Jeremy Colliton.

26. San Jose Sharks (LW: 26). Logan Couture can still produce at a high level, but this team has quickly fallen off after that 4-0 start to the season.

27. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 24). No excuse for a team with this type of young talent to be this bad with this bad of a salary cap situation. Poster child for poor roster management.

28. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 27). Wow, did that bucket of cold water arrive quickly.

29. Seattle Kraken (LW: 28). Goaltending was supposed to be this team’s strength, and it is the one thing that is absolutely crushing them right now.

30. Ottawa Senators (LW: 29). They have a fraction of a roster right now, which makes that game against Pittsburgh on Saturday night stand out even more.

31. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 31). Nick Suzuki is pretty much the only player playing to expectations right now.

32. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 32). They have played 15 games this season. They have scored zero or one goal in 10 of them. Not going to win many games that way.

Barkov sets Panthers’ points mark in 5-2 win over Red Wings

Florida Panthers Power Play
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DETROIT – Aleksander Barkov set the Florida franchise record for most career points, Carter Verhaeghe scored two goals, and the streaking Panthers beat the Detroit Red Wings for the ninth consecutive time, 5-2.

Barkov recorded a second-period assist, giving him 614 points, breaking a tie with Jonathan Huberdeau for the team record.

Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and two assists, giving him 14 points over the last five games. Eric Staal and Gustav Forsling also scored for the Panthers, who are 6-0-1 over their last seven games, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 20 shots.

Pius Suter and Dylan Larkin scored for the Red Wings, who have lost 10 of their last 12 games. Ville Husso had 20 saves.

The Panthers led 2-1 after the first period.

The first Florida goal came after Lucas Raymond‘s turnover in his own zone. Sam Bennett made the steal and passed it to Tkachuk for his 33rd goal.

Verhaeghe made it 2-0 with a slap shot that got past a screened Husso. The Red Wings challenged for goalie interference, but the goal was upheld after a video review.

Just after killing off the subsequent penalty, Detroit got on the board when Suter jammed in a rebound of David Perron‘s shot.

Forsling scored on shot from the point midway through the second period to restore Florida’s two-goal advantage. Barkov had the second assist, allowing him to break the franchise points record.

Larkin scored on a delayed penalty off a pass from Raymond at 7:53 of the third to cut the Panthers’ lead to 3-2.

Staal scored on a breakaway off a pass from Anthony Duclair with under four minutes left, and Verhaeghe added a power-play goal.


Panthers F Eetu Luostarinen had an assist in the 200th game of his career. … Florida is 29-2-3 when leading after two periods. … The last time the Red Wings beat the Panthers was Feb. 20, 2021. … Barkov has 42 points in 38 career games against Detroit. … Andrew Copp notched his 150th career assist on Larkin’s goal.


Panthers: At Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

Red Wings: At St. Louis on Tuesday night to open a home-and-home set.

Ferguson stops 47 shots, Senators top reeling Penguins 2-1

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PITTSBURGH – Drake Batherson‘s power-play goal from in front with 2:09 left in regulation lifted the Ottawa Senators to a 2-1 win over the reeling Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Penguins finally beat Ottawa goaltender Dylan Ferguson on a Rickard Rakell goal with 5:21 to play, but a hooking penalty by Penguins defenseman Chad Ruhwedel gave the Senators the man advantage and Batherson responded with his 21st goal of the season.

Ferguson, making his first NHL start and first appearance in the league in more than five years, made 47 saves to send Pittsburgh to its fourth straight loss. Thomas Chabot scored his 10th goal of the season for Ottawa as the Senators snapped a five-game slide.

The Penguins fell behind Florida in the race for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. Tristan Jarry played well but couldn’t get in the way of Batherson’s jam shot from just outside the crease.

Ferguson began the night having played nine minutes at the NHL level as a teenager for Vegas early in the Golden Knights’ debut season in 2017-18. He has bounced around various levels of the minors ever since and was in the process of being sent down to the ECHL by the AHL’s Toronto Marlies earlier this month when the Senators signed him to a two-way deal.

Something clicked. He played well enough in six games for Ottawa’s AHL affiliate in Belleville to receive a call-up on Sunday. Just over 24 hours later, the Senators made the now 24-year-old Ferguson the sixth goaltender they’ve used this season when they gave him the nod against the struggling Penguins.

Ferguson looked like he belonged from the opening faceoff. He made a series of sharp saves early, including a couple of stops from in close against Jake Guentzel and a flashy glove save on a slap shot by Malkin.

Jarry, a two-time All-Star who has struggled to find any sort of consistency since returning from an extended stay on the injured list, took a step forward, turning aside multiple odd-man rushes and a breakaway by Brady Tkachuk in the second period.

The lone goal Jarry allowed came 16:46 into the first when Chabot took a feed from Claude Giroux and rather than fire a shot from high in the slot skated down to the right circle and beat Jarry to the far post.

Jarry was solid the rest of the way, though he spent most of the game watching Ferguson dazzle at the other end before Rakell broke through with just over 5 minutes to go.


Senators: Travel to Boston on Tuesday to face the NHL-leading Bruins.

Penguins: Start a difficult back-to-back on the road on Wednesday when they visit the Avalanche in Denver.

Sharks goalie James Reimer declines to wear Pride jersey

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San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer didn’t take part in pregame warmups, saying the team’s decision to wear Pride-themed jerseys in support of the LGBTQ community runs counter to his religious beliefs.

Reimer said in a statement Saturday that he made the decision based on his Christian beliefs, adding that he “always strived to treat everyone with respect” and that members of the LGBTQ community should be welcome in hockey.

“In this specific instance, I am choosing not to endorse something that is counter to my personal convictions, which are based on the Bible, the highest authority in life,” Reimer said.

Reimer is the second NHL player this season to refuse to take part in warmups with Pride-themed jerseys, with Philadelphia’s Ivan Provorov declining to in January. Reimer was not slated to start in Saturday night’s home game against the New York Islanders, which is Pride night.

Additionally, the New York Rangers opted not to wear Pride jerseys or use Pride stick tape as part of their night in January despite previously advertising that plan.

The Sharks said in a statement that they are proud to host Pride Night, saying the event reinforces the team’s commitment to inclusiveness.

“As we promote these standards, we also acknowledge and accept the rights of individuals to express themselves, including how or whether they choose to express their beliefs, regardless of the cause or topic,” the team said in a statement. “As an organization, we will not waver in our support of the LGBTQIA+ community and continue to encourage others to engage in active allyship.”

The You Can Play Project, which works to promote inclusiveness in sports, said the organization was disappointed in Reimer’s actions.

“Religion and respect are not in conflict with each other, and we are certainly disappointed when religion is used as a reason to not support our community,” the organization said. “Wearing pride jerseys, like any celebration jersey worn, is not about the personal feelings of an athlete; rather the communication from the team that a community is welcome in the arena and the sport.”

Panarin, Shesterkin lead Rangers to 6-0 rout of Penguins

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NEW YORK — Mika Zibanejad had a goal and two assists, Artemi Panarin scored twice and Igor Shesterkin made 33 saves as the New York Rangers routed Pittsburgh 6-0 on Saturday night for their second win over the Penguins in three days.

Vladimir Tarasenko, Chris Kreider and Jacob Trouba also scored for the surging Rangers, who have won nine of their last 11 home games and are 12-4-0 in their past 16 at Madison Square Garden.

Shesterkin won his fifth straight and posted his second shutout this season. He nimbly denied Pittsburgh forward Mikael Granland with a sprawling save five minutes into the third period to preserve the shutout, the 10th of his career. His other one this season was a 1-0 home win over Philadelphia on Nov. 1.

“When you put in hard and honest work, miracles happen,” Shesterkin said through a translator. ”We played wonderfully today – scored many, many goals. Honestly, I hope the fans loved it. We’re playing for them.”

The Penguins lost their third straight and trail the Rangers by 12 points for third place in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh, still in wild-card position, is trying to reach the playoffs for the 17th straight time.

“Tonight was a humbling experience for all of us,” coach Mike Sullivan said. ”At this time of year, you have to have a short memory. We still have control of our destiny.”

Patrick Kane and defenseman K’Andre Miller also had two assists apiece as New York improved to 7-1-1 in its last nine home games against Pittsburgh. The Rangers are five points behind the second-place New Jersey Devils, who lost at Florida on Saturday.

“This was a big game for our goalie and our team,” Panarin said. “If you work at playing the right way, you have opportunities for goals.”

Since Dec. 5, when they turned around their season with a 6-4 comeback win at home over St. Louis, the Rangers are 29-9-5.

As he did on Thursday when the Rangers beat the Penguins 4-2, Zibanejad opened the scoring. He got his team-leading 36th goal at 5:10 of the first, beating Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry. Trouba and Miller assisted.

Panarin made it 2-0 at 19:49 on the power play, whipping the puck past Jarry from the left circle off a pass from Adam Fox.

Tarasenko increased the lead at 3:54 of the second with his fifth goal since joining the Rangers in a trade with St. Louis on Feb. 9. Tarasenko has points in 10 of his first 18 games with the Rangers.

Kreider made it 4-0 at 6:43 with his 31st goal and third in two games against the Penguins. Kane and Vincent Trocheck assisted on Kreider’s 260th career goal, which moved the Rangers forward within two of Vic Hadfield for fifth place on the franchise list.

New York won Thursday when Kreider scored the go-ahead goal in the third and added an empty-netter.

After Casey DeSmith replaced Jarry in net following Kreider’s goal, Trouba beat the replacement with a sharp-angle shot at 8:39 for his eighth to increase the margin to 5-0. Trouba has points in six of his last eight games.

Panarin scored again at 16:38 of the second – his 22nd goal of the season – to make it 6-0, with assists to Kane and Filip Chytil.

“We’re building chemistry, building every day and every game,” Kane said.

Panarin has points in eight of his last 10 games and leads the Rangers with 77 points overall, while Kane has seven points in his last six games.

“It’s nice to see that many great players on your team,” added Panarin, whose first two NHL seasons were played alongside Kane with the Chicago Blackhawks. “We’re happy tonight.”

Zibanejad assisted on goals by Tarasenko and Trouba and has 25 points – including 14 goals – over his last 20 games.

“It was just one of those nights when the puck goes in for us,” Zibanejad said. “And obviously Igor gives us a boost making all those saves.”

NOTES: The Penguins were missing defenseman Jeff Petry after he was hit with an unpenalized elbow from Rangers forward Tyler Motte on Thursday. … Pittsburgh also scratched defenseman Jan Rutta and forward Dalton Heinen and played defenseman Mark Friedman for the first time since Feb. 11. … The Rangers were without injured defenseman Ryan Lindgren for the 10th straight game.


Penguins: Host the Ottawa Senators on Monday.

Rangers: Host the Nashville Predators on Sunday night.