Power Rankings: Columbus Blue Jackets cling to top spot, but Penguins, Capitals are closing in

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So, which team will be next to go on an extended run during this season of the streak? Will it be the Washington Capitals, the Pittsburgh Penguins or the Montreal Canadiens? Is this the week Alex Ovechkin hits 1,000 career points? When will the Colorado Avalanche finally start impersonating an NHL team? All will be revealed, as it is every week, in the Power Rankings.

1. (Last week: 1) Columbus Blue Jackets, 28-7-4

OK, I wasn't sure what to do with Columbus after its 16-game win streak was halted in Washington on Thursday, and then the Blue Jackets blew a lead at home Saturday against the New York Rangers. But getting back on track on Sunday against the Philadelphia Flyers earned them another week in the top spot.

2. (3) Pittsburgh Penguins, 26-8-5

You have to love that Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are dueling for the league's points lead, as the dynamic Pittsburgh duo is hot on the heels of Connor McDavid atop the scoring ladder -- while the Pens are hot on the heels of the Blue Jackets, thanks to five consecutive wins.

3. (5) Washington Capitals, 25-9-5

The Caps have, likewise, won five in a row and have closed the gap on Columbus, Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers in the league's most competitive division. Ovechkin is four points away from the magic 1,000 mark.

4. (2) Minnesota Wild, 25-9-5

The Wild have bounced back nicely after their 12-game winning streak was halted by Columbus on Dec. 31. Minnesota has the top goal differential in the Western Conference and notched a homecoming win for coach Bruce Boudreau on Sunday in Anaheim.

5. (4) New York Rangers, 28-13-1

Three of the NHL's top four teams through Sunday hail from the Metropolitan Division, and the Rangers are one of them. Coach Alain Vigneault is doing a bang-up job in spite of various injuries to key forwards.

6. (8) Montreal Canadiens, 25-9-6

The Habs are without Brendan Gallagher after the forward took a shot in the hand from teammate Shea Weber, but they've now won three in a row. It doesn't matter who's out of the lineup; this team just keeps on chugging.

7. (6) Chicago Blackhawks, 26-12-5

Chicago whipped Nashville on Sunday to remind everyone it's still the cream of the Central Division, and Jonathan Toews is starting to heat up.

8. (11) Anaheim Ducks, 21-13-8

The Ducks had won three in a row to move into a tie with San Jose atop the Pacific Division before Sunday's loss. At some point Anaheim is going to have to learn to win on the road, where it is a pedestrian 8-8-6.

9. (7) San Jose Sharks, 24-14-2

The Sharks apparently aren't suffering any Stanley Cup finals hangover at the midpoint of the season, as they continue to push the pace in the Pacific Division. San Jose is an impressive 14-5-1 at home.

10. (10) Edmonton Oilers, 21-14-7

The Oilers are on a nice 6-2-2 run -- in spite of Sunday's 5-3 loss in Ottawa -- as they continue to push toward their first playoff berth since 2006. They're home for six straight games, but haven't been all that dominating (9-7-2) in their new digs.

11. (9) St. Louis Blues, 21-14-5

The Blues' game has been up and down this season -- especially away from home, where they are a desultory 5-10-1. That futility is hard to explain, especially for a team that otherwise still looks locked in for another postseason berth.

12. (12) Calgary Flames, 22-18-2

The Flames are 6-3 in their past nine games, and goalie Brian Elliott has won five of his past six as he tries to right the ship after a leaky first half. Calgary owns the top wild-card spot -- and has the rest of the Pacific Division in its sights.

13. (16) Toronto Maple Leafs, 18-13-8

The Leafs got a dose of reality Saturday night in their loss to Montreal, but that doesn't -- or shouldn't -- blunt the excitement of the meaningful games that the youthful Leafs are playing.

14. (13) Los Angeles Kings, 18-15-7

The Kings are keeping things interesting in the Western Conference, as the NHL prepares to descend on the Staples Center for All-Star weekend later this month.

15. (15) Philadelphia Flyers, 21-15-6

The Flyers got a loser's point on Sunday after picking up a win against Tampa Bay on Saturday as they try to emerge from the funk into which they fell after winning 10 in a row in December.

16. (22) Vancouver Canucks, 20-19-3

Here's to coach Willie Desjardins and the Canucks for defying skeptics and their own horrific play of earlier this season to remain very much in the playoff picture in the Western Conference. Vancouver has gone 6-1 in its past seven games.

17. (10) Ottawa Senators, 21-14-4

The weirdness surrounding Bobby Ryan's scratch from Saturday's game notwithstanding, the Senators continue to impress. They knocked off Edmonton on Sunday and continue to hold down a playoff berth in the Atlantic Division.

18. (14) Carolina Hurricanes, 18-15-7

The Hurricanes are playing good hockey these days, but they're pushing uphill with the rest of the Metropolitan Division (except the Islanders) playing at such a high level. Carolina started off its four-game homestand on the right skate with a win on Sunday.

19. (18) Boston Bruins, 21-17-5

The Bruins are doing just enough to hang on to the second and/or third spot in the Atlantic Division, even though they've won just six of 17 since winning three in a row to start December, including Sunday's entertaining overtime loss to Carolina.

20. (24) Winnipeg Jets, 19-20-3

The Jets blew a lead in Buffalo and lost super rookie Patrik Laine to a concussion after the right winger was rocked by a big open-ice hit by Jake McCabe. Will Laine's loss cost Winnipeg a playoff spot?

21. (20) Nashville Predators, 17-16-7

Something's amiss in Nashville, as the Predators have lost two in a row, including Sunday's 5-2 mauling by Chicago. They haven't won more than two in a row since the third week of November and remain outside the playoff bracket.

22. (19) Tampa Bay Lightning, 19-19-4

The Lightning are still adrift, with four straight losses -- including a 6-2 thrashing in Pittsburgh on Sunday. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has struggled mightily in Ben Bishop's absence, which is more than a bit of a surprise.

23. (23) Florida Panthers, 17-16-8

Goalie Roberto Luongo's injury -- as he attempts to pass Terry Sawchuk on the all-time wins list -- has added to what has been a season of upheaval for the disappointing Panthers.

24. (21) Dallas Stars, 16-16-8

Dallas, currently without Jamie Benn, remains one of the most disappointing teams in the league. The smoke in the cockpit of the team plane over the weekend flight seems like a metaphor for the Stars' season.

25. (28) New Jersey Devils, 16-17-8

The Devils have played better of late, which isn't saying all that much. New Jersey's minus-26 goal differential is the worst in the Eastern Conference. The good thing is that the Devils' schedule has been heavily weighted toward road games so far, but they are excellent at home, so they should make up ground.

26. (27) Buffalo Sabres, 15-15-6

A big come-from-behind win over Winnipeg on Saturday suggests that the Sabres' offense might be coming alive after a half-season slumber. It better.

27. (25) Detroit Red Wings, 17-18-5

It's painful to watch as the Red Wings, with just 12 wins outside the shootout, battle to stay ahead of the Islanders as the worst team in the Eastern Conference.

28. (26) New York Islanders, 15-15-8

GM Garth Snow keeps fiddling while the Islanders continue to smolder at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

29. (30) Arizona Coyotes, 12-22-6

The nightmare in the desert continues, as the Yotes have just eight regulation or overtime wins. Coyotes ugly, indeed.

30. (30) Colorado Avalanche, 13-25-1

The Avs have just 13 wins and a minus-51 goal differential, and there's talk in Colorado of trading any and all players. It's hard to watch on a variety of levels.