Power rankings are updated every Tuesday.
1. Detroit Red Wings (22-6-2, Previous: 1) – Ridiculous dominance during seven-game winning streak: five multiple-goal wins, average shot advantage is 36-22, 7-for-31 (22.6 percent) on the power play and 18-for-19 (94.7 percent) on the penalty kill.
2. Ottawa Senators (18-7-3, Previous: 4) – Maybe all they needed was to get on the road and away from all the expectations at home. Sens are 2-0-1 to start season-long five-game trek, which concludes with back-to-backs tests in Carolina and Pittsburgh.
3. San Jose Sharks (15-9-4, Previous: 8) – Defense wins games and championships. Don't overlook the fact this team is tops in penalty killing and No. 2 in average goals-against (No. 1 until surrendering seven to rested and motivated Buffalo on Saturday).
4. Dallas Stars (16-11-4, Previous: 2) – The more Mike Smith plays – six times since Nov. 16, and a winner four times in that span – the more it's conceivable the Stars could dangle Marty Turco to add a much-needed offensive piece to the puzzle.
5. Vancouver Canucks (16-11-3, Previous: 5) – Schedule-maker didn't do them any favors. Monday's game in Los Angeles was first of four straight on the heels of three away last week with just brief stop at home Saturday to host Pittsburgh. Really, it's an eight-game trip.
6. New Jersey Devils (16-11-3, Previous: 13) – Nine-game winning streak ends with a thud – consecutive losses on the road in as many nights, a combined 39 shots on goal and 0-for-6 on the power play.
7. Philadelphia Flyers (15-10-2, Previous: 3) – Modern-day Broad Street Bullies are going at it in practice, too. Forwards Daniel Briere and Sami Kapanen – 5-foot-10, 179 and 185, respectively – threw a flurry of punches at one another with their gloves on last week. Flyers figure if it worked for Anaheim last year it can work for them.
9. Pittsburgh Penguins (15-12-2, Previous: 20) – Pens get higher marks for finding a way to win on the road three times when they could have lost all three. For all that skill, they displayed the right mental makeup to grind out victories on the road, something you have to do in the playoffs to go far.
10. Montreal Canadiens (14-11-4, Previous: 7) – One regulation win out of the last five games inspires a lengthy video session Sunday when the players were otherwise expecting a day off. Coach Guy Carbonneau had other ideas, however.
11. Anaheim Ducks (15-13-4, Previous: 19) – GM Brian Burke: "We respect the battle Scotty (Niedermayer) has fought over this decision. He's going to walk into the Hall of Fame someday, a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and his shoulders aren't going to touch either side of the doorway." Like we didn't know this was coming all along.
12. Minnesota Wild (16-11-2, Previous: 11) – Have only scored as many as three goals twice during regulation in last nine games, but that's just how coach Jacques Lemaire likes it, right?
13. Carolina Hurricanes (16-12-3, Previous: 10) – Niclas Wallin's return to the lineup Saturday against Montreal signals a full return to health for 'Canes, one of only four teams to make that boast after the weekend.
14. St. Louis Blues (16-10-1, Previous: 9) – Upcoming schedule is chance to put some heat on division-leading Detroit: seven of the next eight are at home including two matchups against the Red Wings.
15. New York Rangers (16-12-2, Previous: 12) – Overlooked on a roster with so many big-name stars, Michal Rozsival – league-high seven goals for a defensemen, 24:27 average ice time – is one of the most under-publicized blueliners in the game.
16. Colorado Avalanche (16-12-1, Previous: 18) – Jose Theodore, a starter in four of the last five, has won three times. Don't laugh. It takes two goalies to win in this league. Some teams never figure that out.
17. Chicago Blackhawks (14-13-2, Previous: 6) – Key for young team is not to get discouraged despite playing well during four-game losing streak: Outshot opponents 31-25 on average, and penalty kill was 16-for-18.
18. New York Islanders (14-12-2, Previous: 17) – Powerless play is 8-for-84 over last 19 games and hasn't enjoyed a game with multi-PPG since Oct. 27.
19. Tampa Bay Lightning (13-14-3, Previous: 23) – GM Jay Feaster gives coach John Tortorella a vote of confidence then makes his annual announcement that if it's only going to be a .500 team he will actively shop one of the big three. And since there's no way he'd trade Vincent Lecavalier, we assume it'd be Martin St. Louis over Brad Richards.
20. Columbus Blue Jackets (13-11-6, Previous: 21) – Coach Ken Hitchcock putting emphasis on fact his team plays 11 of month's 14 games at home: "This is it for us. This is our chance. We've treaded water the last few weeks. We've held it together on the road, and now this is it." Jackets are 1-1-2 thus far.
21. Toronto Maple Leafs (13-12-6, Previous: 24) – Winners in five out of six – all by multi-goal amounts – and Vesa Toskala is finally getting help in front of him. It's not the goaltending. Team defense is the key for Leafs.
22. Nashville Predators (14-12-2, Previous: 15) – New ownership group makes first one-ice splash – the signing of center David Legwand to a six-year, $27-million extension to keep the 27-year-old center off the open market in the summer.
23. Buffalo Sabres (13-14-1, Previous: 16) – Which team will show up each night? The one in the last five games that won 8-1 and 7-1 or the one in the last five games that lost 8-2 and 4-1 twice?
24. Atlanta Thrashers (14-14-1, Previous: 25) – Never underestimate the intangibles in terms of leadership, experience and guile a player like 39-year-old Mark Recchi can add to the mix and teach to the young Thrashers. Great pick-up, regardless of how much Recchi adds on the score sheet.
25. Calgary Flames (12-13-5, Previous: 26) – Another team struggling at home in hockey-mad Canada embarks on a pivotal six-game road journey and wins the first game in Chicago.
26. Phoenix Coyotes (13-15, Previous: 28) – Content in goal and happy with the mix on a defense spearheaded by four players averaging at least 21:30 per game, GM Don Maloney would like to upgrade his offense. "That's really where my focus is right now. It's difficult. Nobody's handing out skill these days."
27. Edmonton Oilers (13-16-2, Previous: 22) – Fernando Pisani is back after missing the first 25 games after a bad bout with ulcerative colitis, a scary affliction that caused him to lose 30 pounds, miss camp and question whether he might ever play again.
28. Washington Capitals (11-17-2, Previous: 30) – Winners in three of four, but most impressive is the fact they accomplished that feat and scored just one power-play goal in the process. That goes against the grain of today's special teams' NHL.
29. Florida Panthers (13-15-1, Previous: 27) – While the league is boasting record attendance in November, up 1.9 percent from last year, Panthers crowds have been off by nearly 2,000 per game, averaging under 14,000 for the first 15 home games.
30. Los Angeles Kings (12-16-2, Previous: 29) – Team probably would have loved to pluck Bryzgalov off waivers considering he's beaten them three times since. Meanwhile, here's who the Kings have employed in goal over the last two seasons: Jason LaBarbera, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Jon Quick, Jonathan Bernier, Mathieu Garon, Dan Cloutier, Sean Burke, Barry Brust and Yutaka Fukufuji.