Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

The surprising Florida Panthers, riding a franchise record nine-game win streak, have taken the top spot in SI.com's NHL Power Rankings for the first time this season.

By Allan Muir
January 05, 2016

The Florida Panthers might not be the best team in hockey, but there’s no denying they’re the best team right now. Powered by their top-ranked defense, which is allowing a miserly 2.15 goals per game, the Cats have won nine straight to take over the top spot in the Atlantic Division. And they’ve gone on this tear while Nick Bjugstad, their leading goal scorer the past two seasons, has been sidelined by migraines. Now that he's back, their offense, which has been pedestrian to this point, could become a difference maker. Both Bjugstad and the Panthers will be put to the test over the next two weeks as they play their next six games on the road. Can they keep the streak going? At this point, it would be crazy to bet against them.

Biggest jump: Pittsburgh Penguins (24 to 8)

Biggest drop: Boston Bruins (10 to 19), Carolina Hurricanes (13 to 22)

Our Atlantic and Metro All-Star picks | Central and Pacific

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