NHL Power Rankings 2011: Rangers Grab Fifth Place; Devils, Islanders Occupy Bottom-Third

Dan Girardi (5) of the New York Rangers congratulates Martin Biron (43) on his 3-0 shutout over the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden on November 6, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Over the last week, one New York-area NHL team continued to stand above the rest. New York Rangers extended their win streak to six, by gaining two more W's. The New Jersey Devils split a home-and-home series with the Washington Capitals. And the New York Islanders sank to the bottom of the Eastern Conference, with two losses. All of these results add up to an improved stock in the NHL Power Rankings for the Blueshirts, while the Devils and Islanders basically remained at the same spots from last week.

The Rangers are one of the NHL's hottest teams right now and because of that they saw their place in Real Clear Sports' power rankings surge from No. 11 to No. 5. New Jersey improved one spot -- to No. 21. While the Islanders stayed at No. 28, mostly because Winnipeg and Columbus have been just as dreadful.

For those that are new at reading these power rankings, RCS averages the power rankings from six (sometimes seven) hockey media sources on the web to create an all-encompassing one.

Each of the NY-area teams played two games last week. The Rangers outlasted Ottawa, 3-2, and took care of Carolina pretty handily, 5-1. New Jersey lost the first game at home to the Capitals, 3-1, then beat them in a shootout on the road, 3-2. While the Isles fell in overtime to Colorado, 4-3, and struggled against Vancouver, 3-2. They've won once in their last 10 games.

The Blueshirts and Islanders kick off their week with a game Tuesday, while the Devils hit the ice for a road tilt against Boston.

-- See Blueshirt Banter for more about the Rangers, Lighthouse Hockey for more about the Islanders and In Lou We Trust for more about the Devils

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