Adrian Dater
Tuesday March 19th, 2013

The red hot Penguins are poised to get reigning MVP Evgeni Malkin back from injury this week.
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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