The Kings are big movers while showing some fire with new coach Darryl Sutter behind the bench. Where’s your team this week?
1 Bruins 24-10-1
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In the Tim Thomas And Tuukka Rask Are Better Than Your Team’s Goaltending Tandem Department, Rask has more shutouts (2) than goals allowed (1) in his last 201 minutes.
2 Blackhawks 24-11-4
How potent is Chicago’s offense? Three players are averaging at least a point per game, and Patrick Kane isn’t one of them.
3 Rangers 24-9-4
The Rangers are 20-6-1 in their 27 games heading up to the Winter Classic. Get ready to hear more about Carl Hagelin, who scored six times in December.
4 Canucks 24-13-3 (+1)
Alex Edler has taken the step forward in his development this season that everyone had anticipated. The season’s lone Cup rematch takes place Saturday in Boston.
5 Red Wings 24-13-1 (+1)
Detroit’s plus-39 goal differential entering the week is second in the NHL behind Boston’s plus-55.
6 Flyers 22-11-4 (-2)
Goaltending is becoming a concern again. Ilya Bryzgalov is 0-4 in his last four games, with a 4.58 GAA and .816 save percentage.
7 Penguins 21-13-4
There’s great chemistry between James Neal and Evgeni Malkin both during regular strength and on the power play. Malkin’s 20-point December earned him the NHL’s first star of the month.
8 Blues 21-12-5
The Blues are leaving some points on the table, going 0-5 in shootouts.
9 Sharks 20-11-4
There’s a different makeup on this Sharks team, which has been strong in five-on-five play with excellent balance defensively, while its power play and penalty-killing have lagged. No Western Conference team has allowed fewer goals than San Jose’s 83.
10 Devils 21-15-2 (+4)
Patrik Elias is on target to play his 1,000th NHL game on Friday against Florida. He has points in seven out of eight (4-7-11).
11 Wild 21-13-6 (-1)
Minnesota is 1-6-3 in its last 10, having been held to one goal or scoreless six times.
12 Kings 19-14-7 (+8)
The Kings rise in the rankings after winning games against Chicago and Vancouver by multiple goals. Darryl Sutter’s club has killed off 26 straight penalties and 73 of 76; Los Angeles has earned points in seven straight.
13 Predators 21-14-4 (-1)
Shea Weber got some light skating in on Sunday, though there’s no timetable on his return from a concussion. Nashville is looking like a team that’s not leaving the Western Conference playoff picture.
14 Panthers 20-12-7 (-1)
Between Brian Campbell, who has been very effective, and Dmitry Kulikov, Jason Garrison and Erik Gudbranson, Florida has a stable defense to build around.
15 Capitals 20-15-2
Alex Ovechkin has points in six straight (6-3-9) for the Caps, who appear to be emerging from the wilderness.
16 Stars 21-15-1 (-5)
The gritty Stars lead the league in hits and one-goal winning percentage. It was an inconsistent week at home for Dallas, losing to the No. 30 team on this list before beating the No. 1 team.
17 Avalanche 22-18-1 (+6)
Colorado has allowed two goals or fewer in seven out of eight. Colorado has won seven out of eight. Coincidence?
18 Jets 19-14-5 (+3)
Evander Kane is on pace to see his goals and points rise for the second consecutive season, a good sign in the development of a young, sturdy power forward.
19 Senators 20-15-5 (-2)
Opposing goaltenders get a ton of work in against the Sens, who have averaged nearly 33 shots per game over their last 16. Though Boston has games in hand, Ottawa sits six points out of first place at the beginning of the week.
20 Coyotes 19-16-4 (-2)
Jason LaBarbera has struggled while Mike Smith recovers from a lower body injury, allowing at least three goals in four out of his last five starts.
21 Maple Leafs 18-15-5 (-5)
Consistent goaltending continues to elude the Leafs, who have allowed fewer than two goals only once in the past month.
22 Flames 18-17-5 (-3)
The travel-weary Flames have played more road games than any other team. Forced out of the Saddledome due to World Juniors, they’re 2-2-1 on their season-long seven-game trip.
23 Sabres 17-17-4 (-1)
The hits keep coming in Buffalo. This time it’s $40 million man Christian Ehrhoff, who will miss “weeks” getting hurt in a fight with Washington’s Troy Brouwer on Friday, according to coach Lindy Ruff.
24 Lightning 17-17-3 (+2)
With a hat trick Saturday in a win over Carolina, Steven Stamkos has pulled out to a four-goal lead on the rest of the field in the NHL’s goals race.
25 Canadiens 14-18-7
There’s a really good penalty kill, some decent goaltending, and very little else going right in Montreal right now.
26 Oilers 16-19-3 (-2)
The young Oilers are going through growing pains – they’ve won only three of 12 one-goal games.
27 Islanders 13-17-6
The Isles are 4-1-1 against the Northwest Division and 9-16-5 against everyone else.
28 Hurricanes 13-21-6
Jeff Skinner skated on his own last week, though there’s no timetable in the reigning Calder Trophy winner’s return from a concussion.
29 Ducks 10-21-6
If Jonathan Toews is Captain Serious, what’s Ryan Getzlaf? He has two goals in his last 28. The Ducks have won consecutive games only once this season.
30 Blue Jackets 10-23-5
With James Wisniewski shelved for likely six weeks with a fractured ankle, Columbus’ inexperienced blue line will be getting a ton of all-purpose minutes. Nikita Nikitin is used to this – he’s seeing over 25 minutes a game.