This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.
This week's article includes another Capitals' center, Mikko rolling, Perron on fire, Elvis is in the building, major losses for Buffalo and Pittsburgh and the clock striking 12 for a Predators' center.
First Liners (Risers)
Lars Eller, C, WAS – Eller, surprisingly, continues to produce for the Caps. His game-winning goal and assist Sunday gave the veteran pivotman four goals and five helpers in his last 10 contests. He is up to 25 points, 103 shots on goal and 26 PIM through 43 games, a career-high pace on offense. Eller's previous high came in 2017-18 — his first season in Washington — when he recorded 38 points in 81 games. His ice time, including on the power play, and shooting percentage are not vastly different than last year, making the likelihood of Eller maintaining this pace a bit stronger, since there is no outlying reason for the rise.
Mikko Rantanen, RW, COL – Rantanen missed five weeks from Oct. 21 to Nov. 30 but has been productive since returning. Since his activation off the injured list, Rantanen has 10 goals — including a hat trick Saturday — and as many assists in 17 games. The only negative is his minus-four rating, with several minus games recently, though he was a plus-three Saturday. Coach Jared Bednar has played Rantanen on each of the first three lines to balance the lineup. Regardless of where Rantanen plays, look for him post to close to a point per game.