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Team (Record): Comment

1. New Jersey (45-19-9): Three losses in last 21.

2. Dallas (43-18-11): Few goals, but defense tight.

3. Detroit (39-20-15): Stevie Y shows ‘em how.


4. Colorado (37-21-16): Firing on most cylinders.

5. St. Louis (39-26-8): Fuhr returns, wins follow.

6. Philadelphia (37-24-11): Shoulda gotten a goalie.

7. Pittsburgh (36-20-17): Only six goals in 0-1-3 stretch.

8. Montreal (34-29-9): Thibault has two of last three wins.

9. Boston (33-26-13): Allison (30 goals) a real find.

10. Kings (34-27-11): Must grind, use their size.

11. Washington (33-28-11): Kolzig supplants Ranford.


12. Buffalo (31-26-15): Two more shutouts for Hasek.

13. Chicago (29-32-12): Offense, power play stall.

14. Ottawa (28-31-13): Backing into playoffs at 1-3-3.

15. Phoenix (28-32-12): Will get it together someday.


16. Carolina (29-35-7): Hurricanes win three of four.

17. Edmonton (29-35-10): Shaky grip on playoff spot.

18. San Jose (29-37-7): Big wins over Kings, Stars.

19. Calgary (24-36-13): Flames make 4-2 playoff charge.


20. Ducks (24-38-11): Nice 3-2-2 trip, but too late.

21. Toronto (26-38-9): Still alive, but barely.

22. N.Y. Rangers (22-34-18): Gretzky great, team awful.

23. N.Y. Islanders (24-37-10): Milbury’s follies.


24. Florida (21-39-12): Three wins in row--stop the presses.

25. Vancouver (22-39-13): Going nowhere, slowly.

26. Tampa Bay (17-46-9): Back to the bottom.

Game of the Week



* When--Wednesday. * Time--4:30 p.m. * TV--ESPN2.

* Story line--The NHL’s highest-scoring teams renew a rivalry that has often been bloody and never is boring. Detroit defeated Colorado in the Western Conference finals last spring and went on to win the Stanley Cup, just as Colorado had defeated Detroit the previous year and won the Cup. Without injured centers Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg, Colorado’s offense has sputtered, but Avalanche depth will prevent prolonged slumps. Winger Eric Lacroix has a career-best 28 goals. Red Wing captain Steve Yzerman has seven goals in his last nine games and, with 22 goals, has matched his total for last season. Detroit’s resurgent power play has produced at least one goal in nine consecutive games.