Flames hope to stay hot against Avalanche

( - The Calgary Flames look to extend a well-timed six-game point streak on Saturday night when they visit the playoff-hopeful Colorado Avalanche.

The Flames are 5-0-1 in their last six games, using last night's 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs to move into second place in the Pacific Division. That is likely the high point Calgary will shoot for as it trails the first- place Anaheim Ducks by 12 points.

The win did put the Flames a point ahead of the third-place Vancouver Canucks, while the Los Angeles Kings are lurking at two points back. All three teams are in action tonight.

Sean Monahan scored twice and had an assist in Friday night's win, while Johnny Gaudreau and Jiri Hudler added a goal and two helpers each. The trio each extended their point streaks to six games in a row, with Hudler setting a new career high with 60 points on the season.

Hudler has six goals and 12 points over his run, Gaudreau has four tallies and five assists and Monahan has nine points off six goals and three assists.

Monahan and Mikael Backlund both scored short-handed goals during a four-goal first period on Friday, while Drew Shore also scored in the game and Jonas Hiller posted 25 saves.

"It just shows how good our PK is," Gaudreau said.

Karri Ramo could get the start tonight and is 2-3-0 lifetime versus the Avalanche with a 2.82 goals against average and .892 save percentage in five meetings.

The Avalanche have won four of five and nine of their last 13, but still sit six points out of a wild card spot in the Western Conference. They resumed their latest surge with Thursday's 2-1 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils.

Jarome Iginla provided Colorado's lone goal in regulation and added a shootout winner.

"There's lot of games left," Iginla said. "I know it goes quickly, but there's lots of points to be had, so we're just going to keep trying on focusing on ourselves and keep trying to find ways to win games and keep chipping away."

Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves in the game's first 65 minutes then added two more stops in the breakaway round. He started for the 23rd time in 24 games, having missed Tuesday's contest versus Los Angeles with a groin injury.

Varlamov figures to be healthy enough to start tonight and is 3-4-1 versus the Flames with a 2.82 GAA and .891 save percentage in eight games (7 starts).

The Avs have lost two straight and four of their past six versus the Flames, who took the first of three meetings this season 4-3 in overtime at home on Dec. 4. Monahan had the winner 1:47 into the extra frame and Ramo posted 26 saves.

Varlamov made 21 saves.

Calgary has won nine of its last 12 at Colorado.