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Helene Elliott's NHL rankings

Vancouver remains in the top spot. The Kings fall one spot to No. 9, while the Ducks move up four to No. 13.

March 21, 2011

Through Monday's games

Rank Team Record Comment Previous rank

1. Vancouver 47-17-9 The Canucks clinched the Northwest Division last week and have a soft schedule left. Only three of their remaining nine games are against teams in playoff positions. (1)

2. Washington 42-21-10 The Capitals have won 10 of 11, including seven of eight on the road. They're at Philadelphia on Tuesday and trail the Flyers by two points for No. 1 in the East. (2)

3. San Jose 42-23-8 Apparent leg injury suffered by standout rookie Logan Couture (27 goals, 48 points) is worrisome for Sharks, who have won three straight. (4)

4. Detroit 43-21-9 The Red Wings are settling in for a five-game homestand starting this week — but they haven't been dominant at the Joe this season, with a record of 19-11-5. (6)

5. Philadelphia 44-19-8 Unlike last season, the Flyers didn't leave anything until the last minute: They clinched a playoff berth last Saturday. (7)

6. Montreal 40-26-7 P.K. Subban's hat trick led Canadiens to an 8-1 rout of Minnesota on Sunday and put them one behind Boston for Northeast lead. Bruins have two games in hand. (9)

7. Phoenix 39-24-11 Coyotes opened a six-game homestand Sunday with a 2-1 loss to the Blackhawks on a late power-play goal, ending their five-game winning streak. (11)

8. Chicago 39-25-8 Patrick Sharp left the Hawks' game Sunday at Phoenix with an apparent knee injury. He leads them in goals with 34. (3)

9. Kings 41-26-6 Clutch shootout victory over Calgary on Monday ended a four-game home winless streak. (8)

10. Boston 39-22-10 The Bruins have won only one of their last seven and four of their last 10. They play six of their next seven at home, but they're only 16-12-5 at the TD Garden. (5)

11. Nashville 38-25-10 Plucky Predators enjoyed a big weekend, beating Detroit and rallying to win at Buffalo to extend their winning streak to three. (16)

12. Pittsburgh 42-23-8 Sidney Crosby (concussion) has been practicing regularly but he isn't ready to return yet. Let's hope he returns before Matt Cooke does. (10)

13. Ducks 40-27-5 Career-best season by Corey Perry (39 goals, 77 points) and ageless Teemu Selanne — on pace for 78 points at age 40 — keep them in the playoff hunt. (17)

14. Dallas 38-25-9 Stars play next six games against teams that are in top eight in the West but finish with four against non-contenders. (12)

15. N.Y. Rangers 39-30-4 They've won a season-high four straight, and six of seven. But best news for them was Henrik Lundqvist overcoming sore neck to beat Penguins on Sunday. (19)

16. Tampa Bay 39-22-11 Lightning has only two wins in its last 10 and ended a 1-0-3 trip with an overtime loss to Ottawa. Not the optimal way to prepare for the playoffs. (14)

17. New Jersey 34-34-4 The Devils' unlikely playoff drive stalled a bit with two losses last week, but a 3-0 win at Columbus on Sunday left them seven points behind Buffalo with 10 to go. (13)

18. Calgary 37-27-11 After facing Kings on Monday, Flames have only seven games left, four against non-playoff teams. (15)

19. Buffalo 35-28-9 Sabres were stunned by Predators on Sunday, losing in overtime after leading by two with 2:30 to play. Gotta hold those leads, especially at home. (18)

20. Carolina 33-29-10 The Hurricanes have too much talent to miss the playoffs but that's what's in store if they can't do better than recent 4-5-1 slump. (22)

21. Toronto 32-31-10 Goalie James Reimer has been a gem (2.59 goals-against average, .922 save percentage) while facing an average of more than 30 shots per game. (24)

22. Minnesota 35-30-8 Wild's 8-1 loss to the Canadiens on Sunday was the worst in franchise history and extended winless streak to 0-5-1. Playoff hopes are just about quashed. (20)

23. Atlanta 30-30-12 An 8-2 loss to Buffalo on Saturday could have been a fatal blow for Thrashers' playoff chances. (23)

24. Columbus 33-29-10 After being shut out twice in a row at home, the Blue Jackets are just about done. (21)

25. St. Louis 32-31-9 Surprising that no one has started a Blues-to-Winnipeg rumor following last week's announcement that team and arena lease are for sale. (26)

26. Ottawa 27-36-9 A disappointing season for defenseman Sergei Gonchar might end because of the concussion he suffered Saturday. He signed a three-year, $16.5-million contract last summer. (27)

27. Florida 29-33-10 The Panthers can be spoilers during upcoming trip to face the Rangers, Blackhawks, Sabres, Penguins and Blue Jackets. (25)

28. N.Y. Islanders 28-33-12 Rick DiPietro won a shootout Saturday in his return from facial fractures he suffered in a Feb. 2 goalie fight. (28)

29. Colorado 27-36-8 Avalanche's victory over Edmonton on Saturday was only its second in its last 22 games. Ouch. (30)

30. Edmonton 23-39-10 Edmonton Journal called Oilers-Avalanche game the Toilet Bowl. Oilers got flushed in the shootout. (29)

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