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Avs hope to continue surge in home tilt vs. Stars

Jan 10, 2015 - 3:39 PM ( - The Colorado Avalanche are trying to recover from a slow start to the season. They'll look to make a move in the standings on Saturday afternoon when they host the Dallas Stars.

The Avalanche are 8-3-2 over their past 13 games, getting them to within five points of a wild card spot. They are just one point back of the Stars, who have lost three in a row.

Colorado won for the fourth time in five games with a 5-2 decision over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. Jarome Iginla had a pair of goals and Alex Tanguay had two assists to reach 800 career points.

Defenseman Erik Johnson set a new career high with his 11th goal of the season, while Brad Stuart and Daniel Briere added goals to back another strong performance from Semyon Varlamov.

Coming off a spectacular 54-save effort in Tuesday's shutout of Chicago, Varlamov was busy again in turning aside 36-of-38 Ottawa shots.

"We're starting to build some confidence," Iginla said. "That Chicago game was a big game and it carried over tonight."

Iginla upped his career total to 572 goals, one back of Mike Bossy for 20th place on the all-time list.

Varlamov figures to get a chance at extending his recent run of solid play and is 5-3-2 in his career versus Dallas with a 3.24 goals against average and .900 save percentage.

The Stars appeared to have turned a corner with a solid 8-1-0 run from Dec. 13-Jan. 3, but have gone 0-1-2 since and were bested 3-2 in overtime by the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

Kari Lehtonen made 21 saves, but was unable to stop Shea Weber's shot from the right circle from going in 17 seconds into overtime.

Jason Spezza and Trevor Daley scored for the Stars, and Shawn Horcoff picked up an assist in his return to the lineup after missing four games due to illness.

"We're giving up points in overtime and that's obviously hurting us in the standings," said Spezza, whose club is four points out of a wild card spot in the Western Conference.

Lehtonen is 8-5-2 with a 2.84 GAA and .910 save percentage in his career versus the Avs, who have won five of the last six meetings with the Stars.

Colorado has won four in a row at home in this series as well, including a 5-2 decision on Nov. 29 in the first of five meetings this season.

Tanguay had a goal and two assists, while Iginla and Briere also lit the lamp.