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Blackhawks rise to the top of NHL Power Rankings

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Scott Cullen
2/11/2013 5:31:54 PM
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The Chicago Blackhawks have steamrolled their way to the top of the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings, pulling ahead of the San Jose Sharks.

Chicago has yet to lose in regulation, despite playing 10 of their first 12 games on the road. While last week's ranking cited a small concern with Chicago's margin of victory, as reason for them not being on top, the Blackhawks outscored opponents 14-5 in three wins this week, eliminating the goal differential concern.

The surprising New Jersey Devils have won five straight, allowing five goals against, and climbed from 11th spot up to third.

Two traditionally-strong teams, the Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings, have overcome slow starts and vaulted up the rankings nine spots apiece, to sixth and seventh, respectively.

Dallas is also showing some progress, particularly when franchise centre Jamie Benn is playing well, and he's put up six points during their current three-game winning streak.

Going the wrong way, the Tampa Bay Lightning slipped from second to ninth spot as their offence dried up and they scored a total of six goals in four straight losses.

St. Louis suddenly had goaltending woes, with Jaroslav Halak hurt and Brian Elliott struggling as they allowed 22 goals in a four-game losing skid and that knocked the Blues from fourth to 10th in the rankings.

Montreal's lopsided home loss to Toronto capped a tough week and getting outscored 12-5 in three straight losses sunk the Habs from fifth all the way to 14th.

Among other Canadian teams, the Senators stayed at eight, thanks to Craig Anderson, and not so much thanks to a struggling attack.

The aforementioned Maple Leafs moved from 18th to 13th, in large part because of that big win in Montreal Saturday night, Toronto's third straight win.

Edmonton slipped from 10th to 15th as Sunday's win over Columbus snapped a five-game winless stretch.

In the lower third, Winnipeg moves up from 26th to 23rd, with Dustin Byfuglien set to return, and the Calgary Flames are stuck at 28th with their own growing list of walking wounded.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.

Blackhawks celebrate (Photo: Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
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