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NHL Power Rankings: Kings, Ducks Fighting For Western Conference Playoff Spots

The latest NHL power rankings are up at SB Nation, and the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks have essentially exchanged spots with one another this week. The Ducks, who split two games after the All-Star break, fell from seventh to 10th place in the Western Conference, while the Kings, with two wins and a shootout loss in three games, improved from 11th to seventh place in the conference. However, upon further review, the voting may be skewed.

The voting panel consisted of five voters this week: Brad Gardner of Defending Big D, Bryan Reynolds of Hockey Wilderness, Casey Richey of Winging It In Motown, Derek Zona of The Copper & Blue, and Matt Wagner of The Cannon. The Kings got four votes between sixth and 10th place in the West, which is in line with their current ninth place spot in the standings. However, Zona voted the Kings second best in the West, which might be true from a talent standpoint, but hasn't come to fruition on the ice this season.

Then again, the Kings beat the Edmonton Oilers, Zona's team, last week, and the Kings are 3-0 this season against Edmonton this season, so you can see his perspective. The Kings continue their 10-game Grammy road trip this week with a gauntlet of sorts: trips to Pittsburgh, Washington, and Philadelphia, three of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference in this week's power rankings.

Anaheim, who is tied for sixth in the Western Conference with 62 points, dropped to 10th place in the power rankings after a 1-1 week. They lost 4-3 at home to San Jose, but also had an impressive 3-0 road win over the Avalanche, which got them no traction. The Ducks this week finish off their road trip, with games in Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton.

For more local NHL news and analysis, be sure to read Jewels From The Crown and Anaheim Calling.