Feb 8, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Dallas Stars goalieKari Lehtonen
(32) makes a save against the New York Rangers during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
#20: Dallas Stars: 24-21-8
The Stars nearly blew the game against the New York Rangers after Kari Lehtonen misplayed the puck, but Ales Hemsky won Dallas the game in overtime, anyway. Good thing, with the team right in the middle of the aforementioned Central Division log-jam.
#19: Florida Panthers: 23-17-11
The Panthers were one goal away from taking down the League’s top team on Sunday night, but had to settle for a point as the Predators won the ‘battle of the felines’ in overtime. With three games in the next four nights, all against out-of-conference teams, this is a chance for the Panthers to make up some desperately-needed ground if they want to stay in the playoff conversation.
#18: Los Angeles Kings: 23-18-12
The Kings have gone 3-5-2 in their last 10, but have looked like their old selves in their last two games, both victories. Though four of the next five teams the Kings face are ahead of them in the points race, experience would tell us the Kings have the rest of the league “right where they want ‘em”.
#17: Vancouver Canucks: 29-20-3
The Canucks have gone .500% in their past 10 games, and they have been on both ends of wide-open scores during that time. While they alternate home and away games over their next five games, the Canucks will have to find some consistency before their five-game road trip at the end of the month.
#16: San Jose Sharks: 28-20-7
The Sharks have now dropped four of their last five since shutting out the Chicago Blackhawks, while allowing 18 goals in that time. Despite that, they still lead the Pacific Division. Though they acquired Evgeni Nabokov on Monday so he could retire as a Shark, someone could convince him to hop in between the pipes for a couple more games, couldn’t they?