Playoff hopeful Flames welcome Avs

( - The Calgary Flames will try to pick up just their second win in five games, as the playoff hopeful club continues a five-game homestand with Monday's battle against the Colorado Avalanche.

The Flames enter today occupying the third of the Pacific Division's three automatic postseason spots, but their hold on a playoff berth is anything but firm.

With 84 points, Calgary leads Los Angeles by two for third place. The Kings hold a game in hand over the Flames and play tonight in New Jersey. The Flames also are four points behind idle Vancouver for second place in the division.

Calgary hasn't made the postseason since 2009 and the club hasn't helped its case with losses in three of its last four trips to the ice. The Flames fell to 1-1-1 on this homestand after dropping an overtime decision Saturday against Columbus.

The Flames lost 3-2 to the Blue Jackets despite carrying a one-goal lead into the third period. Artem Anisimov evened the score at 2-2 early in the third and Rene Bourque's second goal of the contest won it with 58.5 seconds remaining in OT.

Sean Monahan and Jiri Hudler both posted a goal and one assist for the Flames. Hudler's goal was his 26th of the season, setting a new personal best.

Karri Ramo made 23 saves for Calgary, which outshot Columbus 40-26 but only scored once on five chances with the man advantage.

"We need two points and losing that one in overtime is tough to swallow right now," Flames defenseman Kris Russell said. "At the same time, we're going to take that point and try and build off it. We've got a few games left at home, so we've got to grab some momentum before we head on the road."

Calgary is 20-13-4 at the Saddledome this season and will complete this homestand Wednesday against Dallas.

The Avalanche haven't given up on their playoff dreams, but last season's Central Division champs face a tough road back to the postseason. Colorado is eight points removed from the last wild card spot in the Western Conference with only 11 games left on its schedule.

Although the Avs are likely going to miss this spring's postseason tournament, they could damage Calgary's playoff hopes tonight. Colorado is 3-1-1 in its last five meetings versus the Flames, but Calgary has won two of the past three encounters at the Saddledome.

Colorado had won three straight before dropping Friday's overtime decision in Anaheim. It was just the second loss this month for the Avs, who fell to 6-1-1 in March.

Anaheim carried a 1-0 lead into the third, but Colorado scored twice in the period's first eight minutes to grab the lead. Jarome Iginla scored his 24th of the season at the 5:28 mark and Ryan O'Reilly's short-handed marker made it a 2-1 game at 7:19.

However, the Ducks evened the score on Rickard Rakell's goal with 10:56 remaining in regulation before Corey Perry won it for Anaheim 85 seconds into OT.

After Sami Vatanen stripped a Colorado player of the puck, Perry took the loose disc and finished off a breakaway with a wrister over Semyon Varlamov's glove for the win.

"That was a hard-fought game," Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy said. "I'm very happy with the performance of the team. It's an important point for us now."

Varlamov, who also played Friday night in the opener of a five-game road trip, made 37 stops in the loss. He made 28 saves the previous night in a 5-2 win over Arizona and is expected to log a fifth straight start tonight.

Ramo will get the call in net for Calgary. He is 2-4-0 with a 2.86 goals against average in six lifetime appearances versus the Avalanche, while Varlamov is 4-4-1 with a 2.72 GAA in nine career outings against the Flames.

Colorado is 14-12-9 as the visiting team this season. The Avs will complete this swing with stops in Edmonton and Vancouver on Wednesday and Thursday.