Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
15. New Jersey Devils (last week: 16): The New Jersey Devils climb one spot in our rankings this week after reeling off three straight wins over Edmonton, Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Kings. New Jersey has clawed its way into third place in the Metropolitan Division with a strong run of play, but with the Isles and Penguins hot on the Devils' heels and owning games in hand, there's little room for error.
Defenceman David Schlemko scored in Sunday's win over the Kings and has three goals in his last seven games and seven points in his last 10. His 16 points on the season is already a career-high tally. He's making $625,000 this season.
14. Pittsburgh Penguins (last week: 11): Our panel voted the Penguins down three spots this week, but in all likelihood that had more to do with improved performances from the teams in front of them than it did with the Pens' own efforts.
Pittsburgh's improved play continued, with wins over the Anaheim Ducks and Carolina bookending a loss to the New York Rangers. Sidney Crosby went scoreless in the last two games but lit the Ducks up for four points and has 12 goals and 22 points in his last 13 games.
13. San Jose Sharks (last week: 15): The Sharks captured five of a possible six points in Week 20, including a regulation win over a very good Chicago team.
Rookie winger Joonas Donskoi, who was drafted by Florida in 2010 but never signed, has been exceptional of late with 11 points in his last 12 games. Even more impressively, he's managing that with limited ice time; only once in those 12 games has he played more than 15 minutes.
12. New York Islanders (last week: 13): A three-game winning streak by the Islanders came to a halt on Saturday when they fell to the Carolina Hurricanes. Even so, it was a fairly good week for a team in a fight for its playoff life.
Critically, franchise centre John Tavares seems to have come to life. He now has 16 points over his last 12 games and is on a five-game scoring streak.
11. Anaheim Ducks (last week: 12): The Ducks cooled a little bit this week, winning two games and losing two games, but they have solidified their hold on a playoff spot in the Pacific Division, opening up a six-point lead on Arizona (a 5-2 win over the Coyotes late last week helped).
David Perron had three points in Anaheim's last two games of the week and has 11 in 11 contests since being acquired from Pittsburgh in January.