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Local Hockey Power Rankings- Week 7

It was a strange week in local hockey as teams went 2-0-0 against the Pittsburgh Penguins but 0-2-0 against the Ottawa Senators. The Flyers lost all momentum, the Islanders continued to win and the Devils left the Eastern Conference basement. This week, we had three voters including myself.

1. New York Islanders, 12 points (3 first-place votes) Last Week: 2

Record: 14-3-1 (2-0-0 last week) Week MVP: Anthony Beauvillier

The point streak continues. The Islanders played just twice this week but were able to pull four points out of seemingly nowhere. First, they hosted the Toronto Maple Leafs. Derick Brassard’s power-play goal in the third period made it 4-2 and Casey Cizikas hit an empty netter with under three minutes to go. Game over, right? Well, the Leafs made it interesting thanks to a Justin Holl wraparound and a John Tavares rebound, bringing the score to 5-4. New York was able to clamp down after that and escaped with the win. On Nov.16 in Philadelphia, the Islanders went down 3-0 after 40 minutes of play. Anthony Beauvillier scored twice in the third, including the game-tying goal with just over two minutes to play, to send it to overtime. It took a shootout but Jordan Eberle and Mat Barzal scored and Thomas Greiss stopped both Flyer shots to give the Islanders the win. New York extended its point streak to 14 games, 13-0-1, the longest by any team this season. They face the Penguins in a home and home at PPG Paints Arena on Nov. 19 and at Barclays Center on Nov. 21.

2. Philadelphia Flyers, 7 points. Last Week: 1

Record: 10-6-4 (0-1-2 last week) Week MVP: Ivan Provorov

Aaaand the Flyers have come back down to Earth. After going undefeated against strong competition last week, they began this week dropping a 2-1 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals on Nov. 13. Claude Giroux scored their only goal in regulation and in the shootout but the Caps got two in the skills competition and earned the extra point. Not a big deal to take a point from the best team in the league but Philly followed it up with a stinker, losing 2-1 to the Ottawa Senators on Nov. 15. That’s not something you want to see from any contending team, especially considering the game-tying goal came from the league’s worst power play. They ended the week welcoming in the New York Islanders, as previously mentioned. It felt good for the Flyers to be up 3-0 after 40 minutes with a goal and an assist from each Sean Couturier, Ivan Provorov and Oskar Lindblom, but a third period to forget led to this game being a tough pill to swallow. Philadelphia followed up a perfect 4-0-0 week last week with an 0-1-2 record this past week. They’ll look to find some consistency this upcoming week, heading south to face Florida and Carolina before beginning a homestand against Calgary.

3. New Jersey Devils, 7 points. Last Week: 4

Record: 7-8-4 (2-1-0 last week) Week MVP: Taylor Hall

After a frustrating 4-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators at home thanks to a Jean-Gabriel Pageau hat-trick, the Devils rattled off two impressive wins. Mackenzie Blackwood was fantastic as New Jersey took down Pittsburgh 2-1 on Nov. 15. The goaltender made 38 saves and the Devils held strong against a constant onslaught from the Penguins to come out with two points. The Devils ended the week the next night in Montreal. Despite going down 3-1 late in the second period, New Jersey battled back with a goal from Nico Hischier with just two seconds left in the middle frame and the tying goal from Wayne Simmonds in the third. Kyle Palmieri beat former Devil Keith Kinkaid on the power play in OT. Tayor Hall assisted on both the tying and winning goals. The Devils pulled themselves out of the east basement and there’s nowhere to go but up. They have a couple of tough ones this week, hosting Boston and a rematch with Pittsburgh before welcoming in Detroit.

4. New York Rangers, 4 points. Last Week: 3

Record: 8-8-2 (1-2-0 last week) Week MVP: Kaapo Kakko

Despite not doing much the rest of the week, Kaapo Kakko was the catalyst in the Rangers only win of the week, 3-2 over the Penguins. The rookie scored the opening goal and overtime winner, becoming the 13th 18-yeard-old in NHL history to score in the extra frame. Things got ugly down in Florida, however. It began with a 9-3 thrashing at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Not many positives here as Tampa went 5/8 on the power play and was up 4-0 within seven minutes of the opening puck drop. Things got a little better against the Florida Panthers with Tony DeAngelo putting the Blueshirts up 3-2 in the second. The Cats, however, would score twice later in the frame and escape with a 4-3 win. On the plus side, Artemi Panarin quietly extended his point streak to a career-high 11 games. The Rangers will try to get back above .500 this week, hosting the Washington Capitals before heading north of the border to clash with the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens.

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Will Wiegelman

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