No changes among the six-pack atop or the five at the bottom of our rankings, but plenty of shuffling in the middle of the pack as the fight for playoff spots begins in earnest.
1. (1) 35-10-8 The Sharks bring a five-game winning streak into a super elite contest against the Blackhawks Thursday. They also have outscored the opposition 26-7 during the five wins. Get ready, Hawks.
3. (3) 34-12-6 Thoughts of being a legitimate Stanley Cup  contender are growing in D.C., as the Caps have won seven straight. Alex Ovechkin  had a nine-game points streak ‘ with seven goals and 13 assists ‘ end in a 7-2 win on Long Island Tuesday.
4. (4) 34-16-1 The Devils managed to end an 0-for-23 stretch on the power play during a 4-2 win over the Islanders Saturday. Zach Parise  ended a five-game goal-scoring drought and now has three goals in his last two games.
5. (5) 30-14-7 Say what you want about the Bruins struggles, but the Sabres went 1-3-1 during a West Coast trip last week, a poorer showing than the B’s 1-1-1 trek through California. Hey ‘ it’s something.
7. (8) 32-18-2 OK, we were slow to catch on. But it’s a bit surprising to see Henrik Sedin  now leading the league in scoring. The Canucks have won five straight, and Sedin has contributed four goals and eight assists during the winning streak. Yeah, that’s good.
8 . (9) 33-20-1 The Penguins  showed that when push comes to shove, they can still grind out some tough wins, such as a 2-1 victory in Philadelphia Saturday. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury  returned after missing four games with a finger injury to make 28 saves in a 4-2 victory over the Rangers Monday.
12. (14) 25-18-9 The Red Wings need to make the best of home games against Phoenix and Nashville  before embarking on a five-game road trip later this week.
13. (13) 29-21-4 A prior weakness has become a strength, as Senators goalie Brian Elliott was named the NHL’s First Star for the week that ended Sunday. Elliott went 4-0, including a pair of wins against the Bruins, while posting a 1.25 goals-against and a .957 save percentage.
17. (20) 22-19-11 The Stars hope to have top forwards Brenden Morrow  and Jere Lehtinen back when they host Calgary  Wednesday. The two missed a three-game road trip during which Dallas went 1-2.
23. (25) 23-21-8 Disappointing second-year forward Patrick Berglund ended a 13-game goal-less steak with a tally against Calgary Monday. A resurgent effort by Berglund could help the Blues’ chances for getting in the playoff mix.
27. (27) 21-25-9 They are struggling, but the Blue Jackets  were slick enough to grab a win in Boston. On Tuesday, they also beat Nashville.