Lightning hit top spot in rankings

Michael Finewax

The importance of scoring first is evident in the stats below despite what Boston has accomplished this season when not scoring first.

The Lightning move to the top of the standings in the power rankings, even though they are still second in the Atlantic Division, trailing the Bruins by three points with a game in hand.

Tampa Bay has been so hot of late (Andrei Vasilevskiy is 18-0-1 in his last 19 starts) that they have to be ranked at the top, regardless of the fact that the Bruins have won nine-of-10.

Washington dips to third as they have struggled of late and Dallas makes its first appearance in the top-five at number five.

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1. Tampa Bay

Record: 39-15-5 (4-0-0)

(Last Week – 3)

The Lightning defeated Columbus, Pittsburgh, Edmonton and Philadelphia this past week. They play all three on the road in the American southwest, taking on Colorado, Vegas and Arizona. Tampa Bay is 27-5-2 when scoring first.

2. Boston 

Record: 37-11-12 (3-0-0)

(Last Week -2)

The Bruins knocked off Montreal, Detroit and the New York Rangers in a perfect week. Boston are in Western Canada all week, playing Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. Boston is 22-7-8 when scoring first. They are much better when they don’t with a 15-4-4 record.

3. Washington

Record: 37-16-5 (1-2-0)

(Last Week -1)

The Capitals defeated Colorado but lost to the New York Islanders and Arizona this week. Washington plays in Vegas and New Jersey and are home to Montreal and Pittsburgh. Washington is 21-3-3 when scoring first.

4. Pittsburgh

Record: 36-15-6 (2-0-1)

(Last Week -4)

The Penguins lost in overtime to Tampa Bay but closed the week with wins over Montreal and Detroit. Pittsburgh takes on Toronto twice this week as well as Buffalo and Washington. Pittsburgh is 21-3-3 when scoring first

5. Dallas

Record: 34-19-6 (3-0-1)

(Last Week -9)

The Stars defeated Carolina, Toronto and Montreal but dropped an overtime game to Ottawa. The Stars are home to Arizona, St. Louis and Chicago this week. Dallas is 20-4-3 when scoring first.

6. New York Islanders

Record: 33-18-6 (2-2-0)

(Last Week -7)

New York defeated Washington and Philadelphia but were then shut out by Nashville and Vegas. The Islanders play Arizona, Colorado, Detroit and San Jose this week. The Islanders are 21-7-3 when finding the back of the net first.

7. Colorado

Record: 33-18-6 (1-2-0)

(Last Week -5)

The Avalanche opened the week by shutting out Ottawa but then fell to Washington and Los Angeles. They are home to Tampa Bay and the New York Islanders before travelling to take on Anaheim and Los Angeles. Colorado is 25-6-5 when scoring first.

8. St. Louis

Record: 32-17-10 (0-2-1)

(Last Week -6)

The Blues had a tough week as their game with Anaheim was postponed due to the cardiac episode on the bench of St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. They then lost in overtime to Vegas and lost a home-and-home series to Nashville. This week St. Louis takes on New Jersey, Arizona, Dallas and Minnesota. St. Louis is 23-1-8 when scoring first.

9. Columbus

Record: 30-18-12 (0-1-3)  

(Last Week -8)

The Blue Jackets lost in overtime to Tampa Bay and Buffalo, in a shootout to New Jersey and just plain lost to the New York Rangers. Columbus plays the Flyers in a home-and-home series and then travel to Nashville. Columbus is 22-5-5 when scoring first.

10. Carolina

Record:33-21-4 (1-1-1)

(Last Week -10)

The Hurricanes lost to Dallas, were victorious over New Jersey and lost in overtime to Edmonton. This week they take on Nashville, the New York Rangers and Toronto.  Carolina is 23-3-2 when scoring first.

11. Philadelphia 

Record: 32-20-7 (2-2-0)

(Last Week -11)

The Flyers defeated Florida twice, but lost to the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay this week. They face Columbus twice as well as Winnipeg. Philadelphia is 22-7-4 when scoring first.

12. Edmonton

Record: 32-21-6 (3-1-0)

(Last Week -15)

The Oilers defeated Chicago, Florida and Carolina and like everyone else, lost to Tampa Bay. Edmonton hosts Boston and Minnesota and then travel to Los Angeles to end the week. Edmonton is 24-5-2 when scoring the first goal of the contest.

13. Vancouver

Record:32-22-5 (2-1-0)

(Last Week -12)

The Canucks beat Nashville and Colorado but lost to lowly Anaheim. Vancouver takes on Minnesota and Boston at home this week. Vancouver is 22-5-1 when scoring first.

14. Toronto

Record: 31-21-8 (2-2-0)

(Last Week -14) 

The Maple Leafs beat Arizona and Ottawa and lost to Dallas and Buffalo. Toronto plays the Penguins in a home-and-home series as well as Carolina. Toronto is 21-4-2 when scoring first.

15. Florida

Record: 30-22-6 (1-3-0)

(Last Week -13)

The Panthers lost twice to Philadelphia as well as Edmonton and beat New Jersey. Florida travels out west to face San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles and Vegas this week. Florida is 24-3-2 when scoring the first goal of the game.

16. Winnipeg

Record: 30-25-5 (1-2-0)

(Last Week -16)

The Jets lost to the New York Rangers and San Jose and then beat Chicago. They play Los Angeles, Ottawa, Philadelphia and Buffalo this week. Winnipeg is 20-8-1 when scoring the first goal of the game,

17. Vegas

Record: 30-22-8 (2-1-0)

(Last Week -18)

The Golden Knights lost to Minnesota on the road and returned home to beat St. Louis and the New York Islanders. They host Washington, Tampa Bay and Florida and then travel to Anaheim to end the week. Vegas is 21-6-2 when scoring first.

18. Nashville

Record: 29-22-7 (3-1-0)

(Last Week -19)

The Predators beat the New York Islanders and St. Louis twice but opened the week with a loss to Vancouver. They play Carolina, Chicago and Columbus this week. Nashville is 22-6-3 when scoring first.

19. New York Rangers

Record: 30-24-4 (3-1-0)

(Last Week -20)

The Rangers defeated Winnipeg, Minnesota and Columbus before ending their winning streak at four with a tough loss to Boston. New York plays Chicago, Carolina and San Jose this week. The Rangers are 20-8-3 when scoring first.

20. Arizona

Record: 29-24-8 (2-1-1)    

(Last Week - 21)

The Coyotes defeated Montreal and Washington, lost in overtime to Toronto and dropped a 3-2 decision to Ottawa. They play the New York Islanders, Dallas, St. Louis and Tampa Bay this week. Arizona has gone 22-7-2 when opening the scoring.

21. Calgary

Record: 30-24-6 (2-2-0)

(Last Week -17)

The Flames split the week, defeating San Jose and Anaheim while losing to Los Angeles and Chicago. Calgary takes on Anaheim, Boston and Detroit this week. Calgary is only 17-6-3 when scoring first.

22. Buffalo 

Record: 27-24-8 (3-0-0)

(Last Week -25)

The Sabres had a great week as they won all three, beating Detroit, Columbus and Toronto.  They play Ottawa, Pittsburgh and Winnipeg this week. Buffalo has gone 19-8-2 when they score first.

23. Minnesota

Record:27-24-7 (1-1-1)

(Last Week - 23)

The Wild beat Vegas, lost in a shootout to the New York Rangers and were shut out by the San Jose Sharks. Minnesota takes on Vancouver, Edmonton and St. Louis this week. The Wild are 17-6-4 when opening the scoring.

24. Montreal

Record: 27-26-8 (0-3-1)

(Last Week -22)

The Canadiens were defeated by Arizona, Boston and Pittsburgh and picked up a point with an overtime loss to Dallas. Montreal plays in Detroit, Washington and Ottawa this week. Montreal is 18-9-5 when scoring first.

25. Chicago

Record: 26-25-8 (1-3-0)

(Last Week -24)

The Blackhawks lost to Edmonton, Vancouver and Winnipeg but defeated Calgary. The Blackhawks take on the New York Rangers, Nashville and Dallas. Chicago is 18-7-5 when scoring first.

26. San Jose

Record: 26-28-4 (2-1-0)

(Last Week -27)

The Sharks lost to Calgary but then ended the week with wins over Winnipeg and Minnesota. They play Florida, New Jersey, the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders this week. San Jose is 18-6-3 when scoring first.

27. New Jersey 

Record: 22-26-10 (2-2-0)

(Last Week -26)

The Devils defeated Detroit and Columbus and lost to Florida and Carolina. The Devils take on St, Louis, San Jose and Washington. New Jersey is 11-6-8 when opening the scoring.

28. Anaheim 

Record:24-27-7 (1-1-0)

(Last Week -28)

The Ducks had their game with St. Louis postponed with a March 11th makeup date. They lost to Calgary but beat Vancouver Sunday. They take on Calgary, Florida, Colorado and Vegas this week.  Anaheim has a 17-8-3 mark when scoring first.

29. Ottawa  

Record:20-28-11 (2-2-0)

(Last Week -29)

The Senators lost to Colorado and Toronto but defeated Arizona and Dallas. Ottawa plays Buffalo, Winnipeg and Montreal this week, all at home. The Senators are 12-8-2 when they open the scoring.

30. Los Angeles 

Record:21-33-5 (2-0-0)

(Last Week -30)

The Kings won both this week, beating Calgary and Colorado. Los Angeles takes on Winnipeg, Florida, Colorado and Edmonton this week. The Kings are 17-10-4 when scoring first.

31. Detroit

Record: 14-43-4 (0-4-0)

(Last Week -31) 

The Red Wings lost all four games this week as Buffalo. New Jersey, Boston and Pittsburgh were all victors at home. They play Montreal, the New York Islanders and Calgary this week. Detroit is 9-16-1 when opening the scoring which is a lot better than their 5-28-3 when the opponents take a 1-0 lead.