1. New York Rangers (Last Week: 2; 42-17-7, 91 points) – Henrik Lundqvist looks as if he’s getting close to returning, but the Rangers didn’t miss a beat without him. Since Lundqvist went down, Cam Talbot is 12-2-2 with a .923 save percentage. There’s concern over the Rangers’ league-high shooting percentage plus save percentage, usually an indicator of good fortune, but it’s hard to argue with the team’s astonishing 30-7-3 record in its last 40 games.
2. St. Louis Blues (LW: 5; 42-19-5, 89 points) – Center Jori Lehtera has five points and the Blues have scored 11 goals in St. Louis’ last two games.
3. New York Islanders (LW: 3; 43-22-4, 90 points) – John Tavares has 40 points in the 32 games since New Year’s and now leads the league in scoring. Winger Kyle Okposo returned from injury Tuesday night, but the Islanders lost defenseman Nick Leddy for two weeks because of an upper-body injury.
4. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW 8; 42-20-6, 90 points) – The Bolts have won four straight since acquiring Braydon Coburn before the trade deadline. Center Tyler Johnson has nine points in a seven-game scoring streak.
5. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 1; 42-20-7, 91 points) – Anaheim lost three straight, including a possible first-round preview against the Flames, 6-3, on Wednesday.
6. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 4; 37-17-11, 85 points) – Even though the trade deadline passed, the Ottawa Sun reported that Detroit could still have interest in Toronto defenseman Dion Phaneuf in the offseason.
7. Nashville Predators (LW: 6; 42-19-7, 91 points) – The Preds snapped a six-game losing skid with an overtime win Monday in Arizona. After the slump, however, Nashville is up by only two points on the Blues, who have two games in hand, for the top spot in the Central Division.
8. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 9; 38-18-10, 86 points) – The Penguins took two of three and allowed only four goals in their California road trip through Anaheim, Los Angeles, and San Jose.
9. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 7; 42-18-7, 91 points) – The Habs have scored only six goals in their last five games (four losses). Montreal leads Tampa Bay by a point for the top spot in the Atlantic Division.
10. Minnesota Wild (LW: 10; 37-23-7, 81 points) – Devan Dubnyk started all 25 games since he was traded to Minnesota, and he has continued to play well above his head. Dubnyk is 19-4-0 with 1.67 goals-against average, a .937 save percentage, and five shutouts.
11. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 13; 32-21-13, 77 points) – The Kings unveiled a statue of Luc Robitaille, who is 12th in goals in NHL history, on Saturday. Meanwhile, Los Angeles has points in four straight and is tied with Calgary for third in the Pacific Division.
12. Chicago Blackhawks (LW: 11; 39-21-6, 84 points) – The Hawks have points in five of six and the second-best goal differential in the West (plus-36).
13. Washington Capitals (LW: 12; 36-22-10, 82 points) – Alexander Ovechkin became the fifth player ever with seven seasons of 45 or more goals, joining Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, and Marcel Dionne. Oh, and his 21 power-play goals are one more than the Buffalo Sabres have.
14. Boston Bruins (LW: 16; 34-22-10, 78 points) – Boston made big strides toward sealing the last playoff spot in the East. The B’s stymied the Flyers’ and Senators’ playoff hopes and have won three straight.
15. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 14; 38-24-4, 80 points) – Rookie Bo Horvat has eight goals in his last 20 games, and the Canucks own the second spot in the Pacific Division with points in eight of their last 11 games.
16. Calgary Flames (LW: 17; 37-25-5, 79 points) – Even without Mark Giordano, the Flames hang around. They’ve won four of five and Johnny Gaudreau is riding a five-game scoring streak, only three points shy of Nashville’s Filip Forsberg for the rookie scoring lead.
17. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 15; 33-22-12, 78 points) – Ondrej Pavelec, who hasn’t started since Feb. 19, gave up a soul-crushing deciding goal from mid-ice against the Blues on Tuesday and blamed his lack of playing time. On the other hand, the Jets likely credit his lack of starts to performances like that.
18. San Jose Sharks (LW: 18; 33-26-8, 74 points) – Despite rumors, Sharks hung onto Antti Niemi at the trade deadline, and he has rewarded them since. Niemi has won two of three starts with a .941 save percentage.
19. Ottawa Senators (LW: 19; 30-24-11, 71 points) – There’s a goalie controversy in Ottawa. Andrew Hammond won seven of eight starts with a .954 save percentage to get the Sens back in the playoff race, but Craig Anderson returned from a hand injury Sunday and proceeded to give up seven goals in two starts, including a crucial loss to Boston.
20. Colorado Avalanche (LW: 21; 30-26-11, 71 points) – Nathan MacKinnon is out for the rest of the season with a fractured foot. He finished a snake-bit sophomore campaign with five goals in his last five games, but had only 14 this year thanks to an abysmal 7.3 shooting percentage.
21. Florida Panthers (LW: 20; 29-23-14, 72 points) – Because of injuries to goalies Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya, Dan Ellis is getting starts for the Panthers, who are six points behind Boston with 16 games to play.
22. New Jersey Devils (LW: 22; 28-29-10, 66 points) – Cory Schneider is quietly putting together another stellar season in New Jersey. Since New Year’s, he has a .938 save percentage and is at .926 for the season.
23. Dallas Stars (LW: 24; 30-27-10, 70 points) – Tyler Seguin returned from his sprained right knee Saturday and scored twice in Tampa Bay.
24. Flyers (LW: 23; 28-27-13, 69 points) – Last weekend dropped the Flyers’ playoff odds from slim to almost none. According to sportsclubstats.com, the Flyers had a 3.63 percent chance entering Saturday’s game in Boston. With three straight losses, that’s down to 0.18 percent. While the Flyers defense has been the subject of much debate, the team has also struggled to score. Philadelphia is 21st in the league in goals per game and has the eighth-fewest five-on-five goals. The Flyers have scored more than three goals only once since Jan. 29.
25. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 25; 25-32-8, 58 points) – Elias Lindholm, the fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft, netted his first NHL hat trick Sunday and added two assists in a 7-4 win over Edmonton. Lindholm has 14 goals and 33 points this year.
26. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 27; 28-34-4, 60 points) – Sergei Bobrovsky returned from injury last Tuesday and the Jackets snapped a seven-game losing streak in his second start back, a 3-2 win over the Devils.
27. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 26; 27-35-6, 60 points) – Nazem Kadri was suspended by the team for three games for sleeping through a team meeting Sunday. I wonder what the response will be for the rest of the team sleeping through the games.
28. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 28; 18-38-11, 47 points) – Edmonton has lost five straight and has given up five or more goals in three of four games.
29. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 29; 21-38-8, 50 points) – The Coyotes haven’t won a game in regulation or overtime since Feb. 3 (16 games).
30. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 30; 19-42-6, 44 points) – Seems like a good time to mention that Connor McDavid, the prodigy expected to go first in this year’s draft, was held without a point for the first time in 27 games Wednesday and the second time in 43 games this season playing for the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League. McDavid has 40 goals and 109 points in 43 games this season, good for third in the league despite missing 20 games with a broken hand.