Helene Elliott's NHL pluses and minuses

Minnesota Wild continues its second-half surge with 26-6-2 record since Jan. 15

Times columnist Helene Elliott rates the pluses and minuses in the NHL from the last week:

+ The Minnesota Wild continues to roll. After holding off the Kings on Saturday and briefly passing the Chicago Blackhawks for third place in the Central Division, Minnesota is 26-6-2 since Jan. 15. Goaltender Devan Dubnyk has shown no signs of tiring after starting 34 consecutive games for Minnesota and 35 in a row overall.

+ Another week, another reason to marvel at 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr, who helped keep Florida's playoff hopes alive by scoring twice Sunday in the Panthers' 4-2 victory at Ottawa. He has four goals, 12 points and a plus-eight defensive rating in 14 games with the Panthers, who said they want to re-sign him next season. First, they'll face the Boston Bruins, the team they're trying to overtake, Tuesday at Boston.

+ NBCSN analyst Brian Engblom, at ice level in Pittsburgh on Sunday for the Penguins' game against the San Jose Sharks, was struck in the forehead by a puck tipped by Sidney Crosby late in the second period. A trainer stitched up the former NHL defenseman, who returned for the third period. "I give you credit for getting back out here," Crosby told Engblom after the game.

- The Detroit Red Wings are faltering while getting inconsistent goaltending from Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek. Their 5-4 loss to the New York Islanders on Sunday left them with only three victories in their last 10 games and ensured they won't win two games in a row in March. They're still third in the Atlantic Division and headed toward their 24th consecutive playoff berth but need stability in goal, and soon.

- Kimmo Timonen's recovery from blood clots in his leg and lungs was remarkable, and he got a gift when the Flyers traded him to the Blackhawks. But the 40-year-old defenseman has labored and his ice time has been modest; he had no points, nine shots and a minus-three defensive rating in his first 12 games.

- Firing Peter DeBoer as coach in December and replacing him with General Manager Lou Lamoriello and former players Adam Oates and Scott Stevens didn't prevent the New Jersey Devils from not reaching the playoffs for the third consecutive season and fourth in five. "It certainly is not a good feeling by any means," Lamoriello said Sunday, soon after their elimination. "It's a reality, and right now you can't dwell on it."

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