Analysis

NHL Power Rankings: Chicago Blackhawks Move Up As Races Tighten

By George Clifford
Feb 4, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) and right wing Patrick Kane (88) celebrate Kane's game tying goal against the Dallas Stars during the third period at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks defeat the Stars 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 4, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) and right wing Patrick Kane (88) celebrate Kane's game tying goal against the Dallas Stars during the third period at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks defeat the Stars 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Feb 4, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) and right wing Patrick Kane (88) celebrate Kane's game tying goal against the Dallas Stars during the third period at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks defeat the Stars 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 4, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) and right wing Patrick Kane (88) celebrate Kane’s game tying goal against the Dallas Stars during the third period at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks defeat the Stars 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Blackhawks gained strength in this week’s NHL power rankings as divisional races tighten for the stretch run

Reversing a three-game skid with two consecutive wins, the Chicago Blackhawks moved up a notch in this week’s NHL power rankings. Chicago got production up and down the lineup, with Blackhawks rookies contributing timely scores in hard-fought victories over Arizona and Dallas.

Meanwhile, divisional races have tightened up across the board with major logjams forming around wild-card slots in both the Eastern and Western conferences. Only a small handful of teams are truly out of playoff contention, and five teams are within four points of a wild card in the East while four teams are within five points of a wild card in the West.

With the high number of three-point games in play, it’s extremely difficult to make up lost ground, so the pressure is on to win as the league heads into the stretch run.

Here’s a look at this week’s NHL power rankings.

Note: All statistics are current as of Tuesday morning and do not include Tuesday night’s action.

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