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NHL Power Rankings: Fear the Preds

Filip Forsberg's hot streak has propelled the Nashville Predators to No. 2 in's Week 24 NHL Power Rankings.

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After extending their points streak to seven games (6-0-1), the Kings were poised to take over top spot in this week's Power Rankings ... until they went to Nashville and had their doors blown off by the Predators on Monday night. Both teams earned a bump, but it was the Preds and their rapacious possession game that made the biggest impression. While still defined by airtight defense, Nashville has become equally dominant with the puck, setting itself up to be a dangerous playoff opponent.​

Biggest jump: Pittsburgh Penguins (12 to 4)

Biggest drop: New York Islanders (9 to 17)

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1. Washington Capitals


RECORD: 51-15-5

Maybe being routed by the Penguins on Sunday could be written off as just another bad day at the office, but slow starts have to be a concern for coach Barry Trotz. The Caps spotted Pittsburgh a 2–0 lead on the way to that 6–2 defeat, the 15th time in their past 18 games that their opponent has scored first. Last week: 2-1-0

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2. Nashville Predators


RECORD: 37-23-13

Filip Forsberg is quietly putting together one of the best offensive seasons in franchise history. His goal in Monday's 5–2 win over the Kings was his 30th of the season, leaving him just three behind Jason Arnott's record of 33. Forsberg has scored 16 times since Feb. 6, tops in the league during that span. Last week: 2-1-0

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3. Los Angeles Kings


RECORD: 44-23-5

Jonathan Quick was pulled after allowing three goals on just 17 shots in Monday's dismal 5–2 loss to the Preds, but that was a rare off night for the Kings keeper. Quick had gone 5-0-1 with a 1.63 goals-against average over his six prior appearances and looks to be in top form heading into the playoffs. Last week: 3-1-0

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4. Pittsburgh Penguins


RECORD: 40-24-8

Sunday's convincing win over the Caps made it six straight wins for the Pens, and five in a row since losing Evgeni Malkin to injury. Sidney Crosby has put the team on his back, stringing together a 12-game points streak (6-14-20) while making like Patrice Bergeron in the defensive zone. Last week: 4-0-0

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5. San Jose Sharks


RECORD: 41-25-6

James Reimer seems like a nice fit in San Jose, eh? The former Maple Leaf has allowed just one even-strength goal on 83 shots over his first four appearances with the Sharks, giving coach Pete DeBoer a reliable option to starter Martin Jones. Last week: 3-1-0

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6. Anaheim Ducks


RECORD: 40-22-9

Anaheim's penalty kill is a thing to be feared. After killing off all three power plays in Sunday's 3–2 OT win over the Jets, the Ducks had gone seven games and 20 short-handed situations without allowing a goal. Their PK sits first in the league at 87.3%. Last week: 2-1-0

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7. St. Louis Blues


RECORD: 42-22-9

Robby Fabbri isn't generating much Calder Trophy buzz, but he's putting together a terrific rookie season nonetheless. The speedy winger has 17 points in 21 games since the All-Star break, tying him for the team lead, and his 27 even-strength points are tied for sixth among all rookie scorers. Last week: 1-1-0

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8. Philadelphia Flyers


RECORD: 35-24-12

The Flyers kicked off a critical four-game road swing with a dominant 4–1 win over the Isles on Monday. Philly is now are 5-1-2 in its past eight road games, and looks primed to grab one of the East's two wild-card berths. Last week: 3-1-0

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9. Dallas Stars


RECORD: 43-21-9

The Stars wrapped up a 3-1-1 homestand that featured at least a hint of the defensive play that powered their early-season success, but it also cost them the services of Tyler Seguin (torn Achilles) for the remainder of the regular season. They now play five of their next seven on the road, a stretch that will test their hold on top spot in the Central Division. Last week: 2-1-0

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10. Tampa Bay Lightning


RECORD: 41-26-5

Congrats to Ben Bishop, who earned his 15th shutout in a Tampa Bay uniform in Saturday's 2–0 victory at Arizona. That was his second whitewashing in his past three appearances, moving him past Nikolai Khabibulin for most shutouts in franchise history. Last week: 1-2-0

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11. Chicago Blackhawks


RECORD: 42-24-7

After dropping a 3–2 decision to the Wild on Sunday, Chicago is 0-6-3 in its past nine meetings with Western Conference playoff contenders. With the Predators closing in on third place, the Hawks need to find some traction, and fast. Last week: 1-1-1

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12. Boston Bruins


RECORD: 39-26-8

The good news for the Bruins: They won't have to play another California team this season unless they make it to the Stanley Cup Final. The B's dropped all three games on last week's West Coast trip and went 0-6 against Golden State squads this season, getting outscored 29-11 in the process. Last week: 0-3-0

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13. New York Rangers


RECORD: 41-24-8

After dropping four of five, the Rangers finally had something to celebrate in Monday's 4–2 win over the Panthers. Henrik Lundqvist earned his first victory since Feb. 27, Rick Nash scored his first goal in 16 games, and the defense managed to avoid looking like a turnstile. It's just one game, but it might give them something to build on. Last week: 2-1-1

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14. Florida Panthers


RECORD: 40-24-9

Is Roberto Luongo starting to wear down? The veteran keeper has posted a save percentage below .900 in three of his past four appearances. In two of them, the Panthers blew a two-goal lead on the way to a painful loss. It won't be a surprise to see a bit more of Al Montoya down the stretch. Last week: 2-2-0

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15. Colorado Avalanche


RECORD: 38-31-4

After dropping the opener in Winnipeg, the Avs reeled off three consecutive wins to finish their four-game swing through Western Canada with a solid 3-1 mark. That was a nice fill-in performance from Calvin Pickard in Sunday's win over the Oilers. He's posted a save percentage of .921 or higher in each of his past four appearances. Last week: 3-0-0

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16. Detroit Red Wings


RECORD: 36-25-11

The Wings embarrassed themselves in that loss to the Flyers on Tuesday, but showed some character by taking the next two in Columbus and Florida. Nice to see Jimmy Howard step up to backstop both of those wins. It's been a disappointing season for the veteran keeper, but he made the most of his opportunity while Petr Mrazek was sidelined by the flu. Last week: 2-1-0

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17. New York Islanders


RECORD: 38-24-9

Two weeks ago, the Isles were sitting pretty in the standings. Now? Four straight losses have left them clinging to a wild-card berth, with just three points separating them from ninth-place Philadelphia, the team that whipped them, 4–1, on Monday night. New York has scored only 11 goals its past seven games. Time for vcaptain John Tavares (goal-less in five) to step up. Last week: 0-3-1

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18. Minnesota Wild


RECORD: 34-28-11

If the Wild make the cut this season, they'll be able to look back on their 4–0 mark against the defending Stanley Cup champs as the difference. Their 3–2 shootout win over the Blackhawks on Sunday stands as their biggest of the season ... at least until they meet up with the Avalanche on Sunday and Chicago for the final time next Tuesday. Last week: 2-1-0

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19. Ottawa Senators


RECORD: 34-31-8

You know the cliché. An injury to one player creates an opportunity for another. When Kyle Turris went down with a high ankle sprain last month, J-G Pageau stepped up into the No. 1 center slot. The 23-year-old has performed well, tallying 13 points in his past 15 games. His goal on Saturday was the game-winner in a 5–0 spanking of the Canadiens as well as his league-leading sixth shortie of the season. Last week: 2-1-0

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20. Carolina Hurricanes


RECORD: 31-27-14

Their playoff hopes haven't yet been officially put to bed, but last week made it clear there would be no miracle run to the finish line. They're banking points in extra time but have only one regulation win so far this month ... and that was back on March 1. Last week: 0-1-2

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21. New Jersey Devils