Thanks to another resurgent week, the Colorado Avalanche sit just five points out of the final playoff position in the Western Conference with 13 games left on their schedule. The Avs earned four out of the six available points while playing all three games in the friendly confines of the Pepsi Center in the second week of March. After starting with a 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings, Colorado bounced back with a 2-1 shootout victory over the New Jersey Devils and an important 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames.

Alex Tanguay, Semyon Varlamov, and Jarome Iginla led the way and earned the Avs’ three stars for the week ending on Mar. 16:

First Star ★ Alex Tanguay, Left Wing

Tanguay led the team with two goals and tied for the team lead with three points on the week. The 35-year-old led all Avalanche forwards by averaging over 21 minutes per contest and scored the club’s lone power play marker. He was the best player on the ice in a key win over the Flames – scoring a goal and an assist while playing 22 minutes and 31 seconds. The veteran got things started against Calgary with a nifty power play goal that he shot off the back of Karri Ramo’s knee and into the net from behind the goal line. “He was off his angle,” Tanguay said of the goal. “I just tried it and fortunately for us it found the back of the net.” Moments later, Tanguay provided the primary assist to spring Ryan O’Reilly for a breakaway goal. It’s been a bounce back year for Tanguay – who has 19 goals and 45 points in 67 games this season. He has five points in his last five games and leads the league with a 21.1 shooting percentage.

Second Star ★ Semyon Varlamov, Goalie

After missing the first game of the week with a groin issue, Varlamov put the Avalanche on his back yet again and earned victories in both of his starts while compiling a 1.44 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage in those games. The 26-year-old also turned away two of the three shootout attempts he faced in the win over New Jersey. His value was emphasized by the Avs’ 5-2 loss to the Kings in his absence. It was Colorado’s only loss in their last six games and the only game that Varlamov didn’t start. In total, the Russian netminder has started 24 of the last 25 contests for Colorado. The way he has been playing, it would have been near impossible to not name Varlamov the first star for the second consecutive week had he played in all three games. He has allowed only five goals during his current five-game winning streak.

Third Star ★ Jarome Iginla, Right Wing

Iginla seemingly single-handedly won the Avs’ matchup with the New Jersey Devils and stole two vital points in the standings for the team. He scored the team’s only regulation goal before breaking a 1-1 tie in the shootout by undressing Cory Schneider for the game-winner. “I was debating whether to go backhand or cut all the way back and fortunately was able to see the five-hole open up,” Iginla said of his shootout goal. The 37-year-old added the primary assist on Tanguay’s power play tally in the win over Calgary. In total, he registered two points on the week, but that doesn’t count his decisive marker in the shootout. Iginla leads the Avalanche with 22 goals and 48 in his 18th NHL season.

Honorable Mention: Tyson Barrie, Defense

Barrie tied for the team lead with both two assists and three points on the week. He led all Avs by averaging 23 minutes and 45 seconds on the ice per contest. The offensive defenseman has 14 points in his last 11 outings.

Nathan is a staff writer for Mile High Sports. He can be reached on Twitter at @TheRealNatron.

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