1. New York Rangers (Last Week: 1; 46-19-7, 99 points) – The Rangers dropped a Stanley Cup rematch against the Kings on Tuesday but hammered the West-leading Ducks, 7-2, over the weekend. Defenseman Keith Yandle had three assists against Anaheim, but has four points in only 11 games since his trade to New York.
2. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW 3; 46-21-7, 99 points) – You might have a better chance of being struck by lightning than seeing Steven Stamkos fight or Tampa Bay beat Boston, but both happened Sunday. The Bolts broke a 10-game skid against the B’s and have won four straight.
3. St. Louis Blues (LW: 2; 46-21-7, 99 points) – Kevin Shattenkirk, who had 40 points in 49 games before going down with an abdominal injury, appears ready to return Saturday. The Blues snapped a three-game losing streak with a victory in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
4. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 5; 46-22-7, 99 points) – Sami Vatanen returned to the lineup over the weekend, and with a logjam on the blue line, Cam Fowler took an unexpected healthy scratch for the first time in his career. Fowler, the 12th pick of the 2010 draft, has 31 points this year and the worst shot attempts relative percentage among the Ducks’ regular defenseman.
5. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 8; 46-20-8, 100 points) – The Habs became the first team to 100 points after Carey Price added a pair of shutouts to his stellar season in the past week. Price has a 1.88 goals-against average and .937 save percentage for the season.
6. Minnesota Wild (LW: 9; 42-25-7, 91 points) – Devan Dubnyk has 10 straight road wins and the Wild have a five-point cushion with eight games to go in the wild-card race.
7. New York Islanders (LW: 4; 44-25-5, 93 points) – The Islanders have lost four of five. All four losses came against teams in the playoff picture, and New York scored only one goal in each game.
8. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 7; 40-22-11, 91 points) – Sidney Crosby is tied with the Islanders’ John Tavares and Jakub Voracek for the league lead with 74 points, but four others are within four points.
9. Nashville Predators (LW: 11; 45-21-8, 98 points) – Pekka Rinne won a goalie duel over Carey Price and Montreal on Tuesday. The Preds have two straight wins after losing nine of their previous 11.
10. Chicago Blackhawks (LW: 6; 44-23-6, 94 points) – Chicago has lost two of three to non-playoff teams and was outshot in each game.
11. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 15; 43-26-4, 90 points) – Vancouver has won five of six and Eddie Lack is 11-4-1 with a .925 save percentage since the All-Star Break, getting an extended run because of Ryan Miller’s knee injury.
12. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 12; 36-23-14, 86 points) – The Kings recalled Mike Richards after he had three goals and 14 points in 16 games in the AHL. Los Angeles won both games since the call-up, including a victory in Madison Square Garden against the Rangers on Tuesday. The Kings are a point back of Calgary for a playoff spot with a game in hand.
13. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 10; 39-21-12, 90 points) – How do you lose to the Coyotes? They’re not even trying to win! The Wings became the first team since Columbus on Feb. 3 to take a real loss (non-shootout) against Arizona. Detroit has lost seven of 10.
14. Ottawa Senators (LW: 17; 37-24-11, 85 points) – Andrew Hammond has given up nine goals in his last three games, but the Hamburgler and Ottawa keep winning. He’s 14-0-1 and the Sens have overtaken Boston for the last wild card in the East. Possibly overshadowed, but another Ottawa rookie has helped the team get in the playoff race. Winger Mark Stone has 18 assists and 25 points in 26 games since the All-Star break.
15. Washington Capitals (LW: 13; 39-24-10, 88 points) – Alex Ovechkin looks like a cinch to lead the league in goals for the fifth time and third straight season. He has 47, seven more than Stamkos.
16. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 16; 38-24-12, 88 points) – Ondrej Pavelec led the Jets to five straight wins before Winnipeg lost in Vancouver on Tuesday night.
17. Calgary Flames (LW: 18; 40-27-7, 87 points) – Johnny Gaudreau has 14 points in 12 games in March and passed Nashville’s Filip Forsberg for the rookie scoring lead with 58 points.
18. Boston Bruins (LW: 14; 36-25-12, 84 points) – Boston is winless in its last five games, including losses to Buffalo and Florida; lost defenseman and second-leading scorer Dougie Hamilton indefinitely; and trails Ottawa for the final playoff spot in the East.
19. Dallas Stars (LW: 21; 36-28-10, 82 points) – In response to Ed Snider’s belief that the Flyers should compete for a Cup next year on the basis of having two star players, you have to wonder if he realizes that Dallas has a better pair of elite players and will miss the playoffs for the second straight season. Regardless, the Stars have made a strong push since Tyler Seguin returned from injury, winning seven of their last eight. Jamie Benn has 24 points in his last 21 games.
20. Colorado Avalanche (LW: 19; 33-28-12, 78 points) – Jarome Iginla scored his 25th goal of the season Wednesday, reaching the mark for the 15th time in his career.
21. Florida Panthers (LW: 22; 33-26-14, 80 points) – Brandon Pirri has 18 goals and two assists in 40 games this season. Guy who yells “Shoooooooooot!” from the upper deck every time your team has the puck in the offensive zone, this one’s for you.
22. San Jose Sharks (LW: 20; 35-30-8, 78 points) – The Sharks have lost four of five and are eight points from a playoff spot.
23. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 25; 34-35-4, 72 points) – Scott Hartnell’s hat trick Tuesday gave him 25 goals and 53 points in 63 games this year. Hartnell has 11 goals and 14 points this month. R.J. Umberger had 15 points in 67 games before an injury ended his season in Philadelphia. Better use that 2017 cap relief well.
24. Flyers (LW: 24; 30-29-16, 76 points) – Look out, two star players and the Flyers are gunning for next year’s Cup! Forget for a second that they’ve lost 45 of 75 games this year and their already-awful record is buoyed by the most loser points in hockey. And just think about how many teams can argue that they have two stars. Pretty much everyone in the playoff race. It’s also worth noting that among skaters with at least 400 minutes played, Jakub Voracek is 33rd and Claude Giroux is 167th in points per 60 minutes in five-on-five play according to war-on-ice.com. That’s not to say either is bad and Giroux has been anchored by an uncharacteristically low shooting percentage, but this team has struggled at even strength (pretty important part of the game) and “the stars” are part of the reason. That’s before even getting to a lack of scoring depth and a patchwork defense made of journeyman third-pair types who are place-holders until the kids get here.
25. New Jersey Devils (LW: 23; 31-31-11, 73 points) – Remember Ilya Kovalchuk? Kovalchuk retired before the 2013-14 season with 12 years and $77 million left on his deal to go home and play in the KHL. Word is, he wants to return to the NHL in 2016-17. Kovalchuk finished sixth with 25 goals in 54 games in the KHL this year and had 55 points.
26. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 26; 26-36-10, 62 points) – The Canes have lost seven of eight and have only 12 goals in that span.
27. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 27; 27-41-6, 60 points) – Toronto has been so bad (8-32-3 in its last 43), I’ve wondered if Canadians debate if the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds can beat the Leafs just as Americans question if the University of Kentucky can beat the dregs of the NBA.
28. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 28; 21-40-13, 55 points) – The Oilers have won two of three and have a seemingly insurmountable three-point lead on Arizona to avoid last place in the West.
29. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 29; 22-44-8, 52 points) – The last time the Coyotes won a hockey game without needing a shootout, gas prices averaged less than $2.10 a gallon and “Uptown Funk” was the top song on Billboard’s Top 100. Okay, maybe Feb. 3 wasn’t that long ago, but Arizona is terrible.
30. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 30; 20-46-7, 47 points) – Arizona’s win takes a little bit of the luster off its showdowns with Buffalo on Thursday and Monday. Worth noting here, Connor McDavid finished the regular season with 44 goals and 120 points in 47 games in the OHL and Jack Eichel led Boston University to a Hockey East title and led the nation with 24 goals and 66 points in 36 games. The NCAA Hockey Tournament begins this weekend, and BU is a No. 1 seed.