Power rankings

Matt Romig
Yahoo! Sports

And then there were two.

Unclaimed playoff spots, that is. Thursday saw Edmonton and Colorado grab the last two Western Conference playoff spots.

Two vacancies remain in the East, with Montreal a lock to claim one of them. That leaves Atlanta and Tampa Bay to fight it out for the eighth spot.

Then we can focus our attention on a Stanley Cup playoff tournament two years in the making. But first, our last full-field Power Rankings of the season.

(Records and rankings through Thursday, April 13.)

Detroit
Detroit

1. Detroit Red Wings (56-15-8; Previous: 1) – The Red Wings can relax a bit after clinching the Presidents' Trophy. Heck, Steve Yzerman finally got his night off Thursday and Niklas Lidstrom only played 20 minutes. Detroit still put a 7-3 beating on the Blackhawks.

Ottawa
Ottawa

2. Ottawa Senators (51-20-9; Previous: 2) – Getting defensemen Wade Redden and Zdeno Chara back is big. If Martin Havlat comes back Saturday and Chris Phillips returns for the playoffs as planned, that will help. But Dominik Hasek's status is still shrouded in mystery, which has Ottawa fans dwelling on failures of playoffs past.

Dallas
Dallas

3. Dallas Stars (52-22-5; Previous: 3) – Dallas hasn't had much to play for in the last few weeks and center Mike Modano got dinged, but the Stars continue to grind out wins. Good to see Modano get back in the lineup for Tuesday's win, a club-record 52nd of the season.

New Jersey
New Jersey

4. New Jersey Devils (44-27-9; Previous: 10) – The rest of the conference has to be horrified by Martin Brodeur's play of late. His nine-game win streak includes victories over Ottawa, Buffalo, Philadelphia (twice), Carolina and the Rangers.

Carolina
Carolina

5. Carolina Hurricanes (51-21-7; Previous: 4) – With a game in hand over Ottawa and two home games to the Sens' none, the Hurricanes still have a shot at the No. 1 seed in the East. What a turnaround after being one of the worst offensive teams in the league the past two seasons.

Calgary
Calgary

6. Calgary Flames (46-24-10; Previous: 8) – Old conventional wisdom: Calgary can't contend without getting Jarome Iginla a legitimate No. 1 center. New conventional wisdom: You can't beat the Flames if you can't get the puck past Miikka Kiprusoff.

Buffalo
Buffalo

7. Buffalo Sabres (47-23-6; Previous: 6) – Just when coach Lindy Ruff announces that it might not be Miller Time in the playoffs after all, goalie Ryan Miller responds with his best back-to-back starts since early February. The Sabres are getting well at the right time.

New York Rangers
New York Rangers

8. New York Rangers (44-24-12; Previous: 5) – New York's reward if it holds off the red-hot Devils and wins the Atlantic Division? If the season ended today, it's a first-round matchup against the red-hot Devils.

Philadelphia
Philadelphia

9. Philadelphia Flyers (43-25-11; Previous: 6) – The Flyers were happy to see captain Keith Primeau back on the ice for practice Monday, but it was also a sobering reminder of exactly how much his leadership is missed.

San Jose
San Jose

10. San Jose Sharks (43-26-11; Previous: 15) – In just his 10th game as a professional Thursday, defenseman Matt Carle logged 7:12 in power-play ice time and scored the game-winning goal. The Hobey Baker winner could give San Jose's special teams a shot in the arm in the playoffs.

Anaheim
Anaheim

11. Anaheim Mighty Ducks (42-26-12; Previous: 9) – Both teams have clinched a playoff berth, but Saturday's game at San Jose should be plenty intense. The winner of the race for fifth in the conference gets the Vokoun-less Predators. The loser? Miikka Kiprusoff.

Montreal
Montreal

12. Montreal Canadiens (42-29-9; Previous: 12) – Montreal will be one of the last teams in the East to clinch a playoff berth. It would have happened a lot sooner had it not been for that 4-6-4 stretch when Alexei Kovalev was on the shelf.

Colorado
Colorado

13. Colorado Avalanche (43-29-8; Previous: 11) – Alex Tanguay returned to the lineup Tuesday, but it was the first start for Jose Theodore that everyone was watching. The final box score wasn't kind – he would allow four goals on just 25 shots – but he made some big saves early when Colorado was two men down.

Nashville
Nashville

14. Nashville Predators (47-25-8; Previous: 13) – Chris Mason has built a wall in front of the Nashville net. In his last four starts, all wins, the backup has allowed a total of three goals. Still, it's hard to envision a deep run into the playoffs without Tomas Vokoun.

Edmonton
Edmonton

15. Edmonton Oilers (40-28-13; Previous: 16) – Dwayne Roloson's best stretch of play as an Oiler has been spoiled by a power outage on offense. Edmonton scored a total of two goals in three losses on its four-game road trip, then needed a late Ales Hemsky goal Thursday to sneak out a 2-1 win over Anaheim.

Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay

16. Tampa Bay Lightning (42-32-5); Previous 14) – Two must-win games, two six-goal meltdowns. If Tampa Bay does sneak into the playoffs, its inconsistent goalie play will make it a short stay.

Atlanta
Atlanta

17. Atlanta Thrashers (40-32-7; Previous: 19) – After all those goalie problems to start the season, Atlanta still finds itself in the thick of the playoff chase with three games left. The Thrashers get three non-playoff teams to close the schedule while Tampa Bay has its hands full with Carolina on back-to-back nights.

Vancouver
Vancouver

18. Vancouver Canucks (41-32-8; Previous: 17) – What started with an 8-1-1 streak out of the gate in October ended Thursday when San Jose's Jonathan Cheechoo scored an empty-net goal. Just call Vancouver the anti-Carolina. Huge disappointment.

Toronto
Toronto

19. Toronto Maple Leafs (39-32-8; Previous: 18) – This could be a dangerous team to face in the playoffs. Too bad they're not going to make it.

Florida
Florida

20. Florida Panthers (36-34-10; Previous: 20) – Roberto Luongo once again reiterated his desire to sign a long-term deal with Florida. He wanted proof that the Panthers were serious about being a playoff team, and their post-Olympic play combined with the signings of Olli Jokinen and Chris Gratton seems to be the proof he needed.

Columbus
Columbus

21. Columbus Blue Jackets (33-42-4; Previous: 22) – Nice run for center Mark Hartigan, who has six goals in Columbus' last eight games. He scored the game-winner Thursday as the Jackets snapped a three-game losing streak.

Phoenix
Phoenix

22. Phoenix Coyotes (37-38-5; Previous: 21) – Will Wayne Gretzky come back next year? Has Curtis Joseph played his last game for the Coyotes? Plenty of questions loom for the offseason.

Minnesota
Minnesota

23. Minnesota Wild (36-34-7; Previous: 23) – Josh Harding is heading to the playoffs, anyway. The Minnesota goalie got a shutout Tuesday in his second NHL start. He'll head back to the minors for the AHL playoffs.

New York Islanders
New York Islanders

24. New York Islanders (35-38-6; Previous: 26) – Tuesday's win over the Rangers will be even sweeter if the loss winds up costing New York the Atlantic Division crown.

Boston
Boston

25. Boston Bruins (29-36-16; Previous: 24) – It could have been a different story had Boston won the close ones. The Bruins will finish the season with the most overtime losses in the NHL.

Los Angeles
Los Angeles

26. Los Angeles Kings (40-35-5; Previous: 25) – A second-half collapse for the ages got worse Thursday when the team announced that Sean Avery would be benched for the remainder of the season.

Washington
Washington

27. Washington Capitals (26-41-12; Previous: 27) – Alexander Semin will be back next season. The Caps signed him to a two-year deal, hoping maybe he learned some defense during that year in Russia.

Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh

28. Pittsburgh Penguins (21-45-13; Previous: 28) – Rookie Sidney Crosby is now just three points shy of 100 with three games remaining. Could he and super-prospect Evgeni Malkin combine for 200 points next season?

Chicago
Chicago

29. Chicago Blackhawks (24-42-13; Previous: 29) – Tuomo Ruutu finally returned to the Chicago lineup Thursday after missing more than three months with an ankle injury.

St. Louis
St. Louis

30. St. Louis Blues (21-44-14; Previous: 30) – Give the Blues credit for some pretty good timing. They've lost 15 of 16, but that one win came on the night they retired Al MacInnis' jersey.