Adrian Dater
Tuesday March 19th, 2013

The red hot Penguins are poised to get reigning MVP Evgeni Malkin back from injury this week.
Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI

This lockout-shortened season has made every game important, and that's made fun to watch for the most part. Still, how much would we all want to see a Penguins-Blackhawks game right now? Or Blackhawks-Bruins? Ducks-Bruins? Ducks-Penguins?

Deciding who should get the No. 1 spot in this week's Power Rankings would be a little easier if we had some head-to-head results to go by, but we'll only see one East vs. West matchup this year: in the Stanley Cup Final.

As described below, if the Penguins played the Blackhawks in that final, I'd have to go with the Pens in a seven-game series. And that's why they

are the new No. 1 after seven straight weeks of the Hawks perched at the top.

On to the list, and the rationale:

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