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article imageNHL Power Rankings: Capitals skating away from pack

By Larry Seely     Mar 15, 2016 in Sports
There's not much doubt on which team is tops in hockey as the regular season is nearing an end, but despite Washington running away with the best overall record in the NHL, a number of great storylines still have fans watching with anticipation.
The Capitals (49-14-5) have a commanding 12-point lead over Dallas (41-20-9) and St Louis (41-21-9) for the top spot, but the Stars and Blues are battling for the best record in the Western Conference and home ice advantage throughout the upcoming playoffs.
While most of the attention in the media is relegated to the top teams in both conferences, a closer look at the standings shows the battle to just make the playoffs is going to come down to the wire.
One of the best stories in sports is the Detroit Red Wings and their pursuit of making the playoffs for a 25th consecutive year, by far the longest in the major sports leagues in North America. While the team is currently sitting in the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference race, Philadelphia (32-23-12) has gained some ground with seven wins over the last two weeks and the Flyers are now just three points shy of passing Detroit (34-24-11) for a shot at playing for a Stanley Cup.
The race is on in the Western Conference as Minnesota (32-27-10) and Colorado (35-31-4) are tied for the eighth seed with 74 points each. Both races will be strong story lines over the rest of the regular season, but there not the only races going on in hockey.
Home ice advantage is important when the NHL Playoffs begin next month and both conferences have tight races for a spot in the top-4.
The East has Boston, Tampa Bay, Florida, and both squads from New York in a battle for the 2nd-4th ranking. All six teams are within two points of each other and for any of these franchises to have some hope of winning a championship, playing at least the first round at home is imperative and will make for plenty of intrigue over the last month of the season.
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