DETROIT — Winners of five straight, 12 of their last 16, and 20-of-28, the Avalanche are winning a lot of hockey games. Which means starting goalie Alexandar Georgiev is checking the standings. Following Saturday’s 5-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena, Georgiev admitted he likes to see where the Avs rank and keeps track of the race for positioning.

But only when the team is winning.

“When you win you kind of check, when you lose a game, you don’t really want to,” he told me following his 33-save performance in Detroit. “But you sort of know where everybody’s at.”

Colorado was perfect on its four-game road trip and is suddenly once again within reach of winning the Central Division. The Minnesota Wild and especially the Dallas Stars were both starting to create some separation from the Avs, who were sitting in third place. But the Avs’ triumph mixed with a 5-2 Wild loss against Boston means Colorado (40-22-6, 86 points) is tied with Minnesota in points, has the tiebreaker and an extra game in hand. The Avalanche also trail Dallas by a point with a game in hand. Dallas is in Calgary to take on the Flames on Saturday night.

“To get home ice for any of the rounds is important. Home ice is part of the success in the playoffs,” superstar forward Mikko Rantanen said. “Big push we need to have here for the last whatever games we have left. And really try to push for Dallas.”

Listen to “Perfect Road Trip After Beating Detroit” on Spreaker.

Rantanen scored his 46th of the season in Detroit. Linemate and fellow star Nathan MacKinnon pitched in with a goal and two assists while top defenseman Cale Makar had three helpers. Each of them is within the top-25 in points per game on the road, which has helped the Avs to a dominating 22-11-1 record away from home. Only two teams (Boston and New Jersey) have won more games on the road than Colorado.

“We’re having good starts on the road. We come out of the gate right away ready to play,” Rantanen said. “You just have to get that more to the home games, too. Sometimes we’re flat at home.”

The other goals came from Devon Toews, Bowen Byram and Lars Eller. It was the second consecutive game that Eller has found the back of the net since being acquired ahead of the trade deadline. His bizarre goal in Ottawa was an example of sticking with a play until it’s blown dead. But Saturday’s shorthanded tally was an even better look at what Eller brings to a team looking to make another Stanley Cup run.

Working on the penalty kill with Valeri Nichushkin, Eller was battling with a Red Wings player at center ice for possession. After nearly losing the battle, he continued to push the puck forward, even falling over it, before finding a way to shovel a pass over to Nichushkin, who had a clean look at the goal. Nichushkin’s initial shot was stopped by goalie Ville Husso before Eller picked up the rebound and made it 5-1.

Eller has found chemistry with linemates Logan O’Connor and Andrew Cogliano. His play has helped Colorado settle into a more secure lineup despite dealing with injuries.

“He’s been really good on this road trip especially,” Rantanen said of his linemate. “Strong on the puck and making plays together with OC and Cogs. Scoring some big goals. Just a hard-working centerman. He’s good in faceoffs and hard to knock him down in the o-zone and in the d-zone.”

Georgiev’s victory was his 31st of the season, just three back of Boston’s Linus Ullmark for first in the NHL. He’s also 15-3-2 over the past two months, dating back to a victory on Jan. 18 at Calgary.