This is the fifth edition of theScore’s 2018-19 NHL Power Rankings, which will be published every two weeks during the regular season. It was compiled by editors Craig Hagerman and Cory Wilkins.

1. Buffalo Sabres (16-6-2) ▲

Don’t look now, but the Sabres are in first place in the NHL. It might be hard to process, but there’s no denying that the club has been playing lights out as of late. Carter Hutton has been a rock, meanwhile, Jeff Skinner trails only Patrik Laine with 18 goals on the year. – Hagerman

Previously: 10th

2. Tampa Bay Lightning (17-6-1)

The Lightning continue to roll despite losing Andrei Vasilevskiy for the foreseeable future. Louis Domingue has been able to hold down the fort, and after a slightly slow start, Nikita Kucherov is hitting his stride with 14 points in his last six games. – Hagerman

Previously: 2nd

3. Nashville Predators (17-6-1) ▼

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The Predators have had a tough two-week stretch, but they still managed to top the Lightning and sit tied for top spot in the NHL. All of the success comes despite P.K. Subban and Viktor Arvidsson being sidelined with injuries. Pekka Rinne is also looking like he could repeat as the Vezina Trophy winner. – Hagerman

Previously: 1st

4. Toronto Maple Leafs (16-8-0)

The Maple Leafs hit a minor blip with back-to-back losses against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes but struck back with a commanding win over the Philadelphia Flyers. They recently swept their California road trip and when/if they get Auston Matthews and William Nylander back, they’ll be a real force. – Hagerman

Previously: 4th

5. Washington Capitals (13-7-3) ▲

The Capitals have been dealt a bad hand with injuries to T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov but are piling up wins regardless. The club has rattled off five straight victories and, hate him or not, Tom Wilson has been a force since returning from suspension. – Hagerman

Previously: 16th

6. Colorado Avalanche (13-6-4) ▲

Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon can’t be stopped – they sit first and second in league scoring, respectively. Alongside Gabriel Landeskog, the trio has combined for 99 points in 23 games. The club has rattled off four straight wins, with Rantanen and MacKinnon posting 18 points combined over that span. – Hagerman

Previously: 21st

7. Winnipeg Jets (13-7-2) ▼

Patrik Laine has scored a ridiculous 11 goals in his last five games, capped off by his five-goal onslaught against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. The Jets have played slightly over a .500 clip the last couple weeks, but remain in good shape in the West. – Hagerman

Previously: 6th

8. Columbus Blue Jackets (13-8-2) ▲

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Next to Laine, the league’s hottest goal-scorer is Cam Atkinson. The Blue Jackets forward has scored in seven straight games with nine goals total over that stretch. Meanwhile, the club trails the Metropolitan-leading Capitals by just a single point. – Hagerman

Previously: 14th

9. Calgary Flames (14-9-1) ▼

The Flames had two five-goal first periods this past week. Matthew Tkachuck has led the way of late with five goals and eight points in his last six games. David Rittich, on the other hand, looks to be making a case for the club’s starter role. – Hagerman

Previously: 5th

10. Boston Bruins (13-6-4) ▼

Injuries, injuries, and more injuries have plagued the Bruins of late. Patrice Bergeron is the latest to hit the IR and will be out roughly a month. Still, the club has gone 3-0-1 in its last four games and remains in the hunt for top spot in the Atlantic Division. – Hagerman

Previously: 7th

11. Minnesota Wild (14-7-2) ▼

The Wild have gone 3-3-0 in their last six games, and Matt Dumba has been a stud posting nine points over that span. Devan Dubnyk, on the other hand, is in the midst of a minor slide, having posted a 3.63 goals-against average and a .878 save percentage in four games. Nevertheless, the club sits second in the Central. – Hagerman

Previously: 3rd

12. New York Rangers (12-10-2) ▲

Although the Rangers have lost two straight games, the team has still had a mighty November going 8-3-1. Henrik Lundqvist has been strong in goal, while sophomore defenseman Neal Pionk is quickly making a name for himself. – Hagerman

Previously: 13th

13. New York Islanders (12-8-2) ▲

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The Islanders‘ offense has been working overdrive the last couple weeks. The team has gone 4-2-0, scoring four or more goals in each of the victories. The downside is that, in those six games, the team has an even goal differential. – Hagerman

Previously: 25th

14. Vegas Golden Knights (12-12-1) ▲

The Golden Knights are finally starting to look like the club that reached the Stanley Cup Final last season. The team has gone 5-2-0 in their last seven games, Marc-Andre Fleury has posted back-to-back shutouts, Max Pacioretty has suddenly posted six goals in five games, and Nate Schmidt‘s return has provided a huge boost to their back end. – Hagerman

Previously: 27th

15. Carolina Hurricanes (11-9-3)▲

The Hurricanes remain the Corsi leaders of the NHL. The club had a strong two weeks going 4-2-0, including a 5-2 win over the Maple Leafs. Between the pipes, Curtis McElhinney looks to, at least momentarily, be taking over. The netminder has gone 3-0-0 with a .960 save percentage and a 1.33 goals-against average this past week. – Hagerman

Previously: 19th

16. Anaheim Ducks (10-10-5) ▲

The Ducks struggle to score – only the Coyotes and Kings have fewer goals – but have managed to stay in the thick of things in the woeful Pacific. John Gibson is unquestionably the team’s MVP, but accolades are also due to captain Ryan Getzlaf, who is heating up offensively. – Wilkins

Previously: 28th

17. San Jose Sharks (12-8-4) ▼

After a slow start to the season, big-ticket addition Erik Karlsson is showing signs of life after picking up eight points in his last six outings. There’s also Aaron Dell, who pieced together back-to-back shutouts, temporarily stealing the net from starter Martin Jones before getting lit up by the Golden Knights. – Wilkins

Previously: 15th

18. Dallas Stars (12-10-2) ▼

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It’s been a lukewarm month for the Stars, as the team has been able to find the win column but hasn’t strung together more than two consecutive victories through November. Backup netminder Anton Khudobin has struggled in fill-in duty with starter Ben Bishop on the shelf. – Wilkins

Previously: 12th

19. Detroit Red Wings (10-10-3) ▲

After winning just one of their first 10 games, the Red Wings have climbed to .500 led by young talents Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou. Starter Jimmy Howard has also had a strong season. The pending free agent could be an intriguing chip come the trade deadline. – Wilkins

Previously: 22nd

20. Montreal Canadiens (11-8-5) ▼

The thinking was, for the Canadiens to have a chance this season, it’d be up to Carey Price. Quite the opposite has happened, as the star netminder has struggled, while the team’s historically anemic offense is scoring in spades thanks in part to new faces like Max Domi and Tomas Tatar. – Wilkins

Previously: 9th

21. New Jersey Devils (9-10-3) ▲

Keith Kinkaid was only supposed to hold down the fort in the absence of Cory Schneider. However, the starter has struggled mightily, as he’s winless in six games since returning from offseason hip surgery. The Devils also need more from last year’s standouts Will Butcher and Miles Wood. – Wilkins

Previously: 29th

22. Pittsburgh Penguins (9-8-5) ▼

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General manager Jim Rutherford has mentioned that drastic changes will come if things don’t improve, but since making those claims, the Penguins have responded. Tanner Pearson looks like a savvy addition with four points in six games since his arrival. – Wilkins

Previously: 17th

23. Chicago Blackhawks (9-10-5) ▲

The post-Joel Quenneville era is underway, as new bench boss Jeremy Colliton has guided his team to a 3-4-2 showing since coming aboard. The most impressive turnaround since the change may be from forward Brandon Saad, who has picked up five points in his last five appearances. – Wilkins

Previously: 30th

24. Edmonton Oilers (10-11-2) ▼

It’s now up to Ken Hitchcock, the Oilers’ eighth coach in the last nine years, to right the ship in Edmonton. While the early results have been a mixed bag, the 66-year-old brings structure, a winning record, and a veteran voice that could help heal what ails much of the Oilers. – Wilkins

Previously: 20th

25. Philadelphia Flyers (10-11-2) ▼

The Flyers’ goaltending situation is almost unimaginable. Michal Neuvirth is already injured, Brian Elliott is out with a lower-body ailment, and an illness to Alex Lyon has the team reaching deep into its depth chart. However, the team got some good news on the injury front when James van Riemsdyk made his season debut earlier this month. – Wilkins

Previously: 11th

26. Florida Panthers (8-9-4) ▼

Roberto Luongo‘s health has to be of concern to the Panthers. The 39-year-old was back in the lineup for just eight games before another freak injury removed him from the crease. An even bigger concern is backup James Reimer‘s inability to produce in his absence. – Wilkins

Previously: 23rd

27. Arizona Coyotes (9-11-2) ▼

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You can’t win if you can’t score, and that’s been the story far too often this season for Arizona. The Coyotes have scored more than one goal just twice over their last six games, and they’ll be banking on Nick Schmaltz adding some offense after parting ways with Brendan Perlini and Dylan Strome. – Wilkins

Previously: 26th

28. Ottawa Senators (9-11-3) ▼

Matt Duchene is on fire with 17 points in his last nine outings and is on pace to smash his career high by more than 30 points. If he can keep it up, and if the Senators can get his signature on an extension, moving their first-rounder for the 27-year-old may not look so bad after all. – Wilkins

Previously: 24th

29. Vancouver Canucks (11-13-2) ▼

A strong start to the season looks like a mirage after the Canucks went winless in eight straight before coming up with a victory against the hapless Kings. The good news is rookie sensation Elias Pettersson has given Vancouver fans a reason to tune in with three more goals in his last five games. – Wilkins

Previously: 8th

30. St. Louis Blues (8-11-3) ▼

A coaching change has seemingly done little to spark the struggling Blues, as the club has won just once since dismissing Mike Yeo. Many players have failed to live up to expectations after the team’s summer makeover, but Ryan O’Reilly, with five points in his past six, isn’t one of them. – Wilkins

Previously: 18th

31. Los Angeles Kings (8-14-1)

Evidently, the problem wasn’t behind the bench, as the Kings haven’t seen any improvement since swapping out John Stevens for Willie Desjardins. The club owns just three wins in nine games since the coaching change. Of course, the injury bug picking apart the Kings’ crease isn’t helping matters. – Wilkins

Previously: 31st

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