The Detroit Red Wings ended their longest skid in four seasons by awakening a slumbering offense. Scoring goals against their next opponent hasn't proved too difficult in recent matchups.
The Red Wings will try to build on their much-needed victory by continuing their success against the visiting Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.
Detroit scored 18 goals while opening with five straight wins for the first time since 1972-73 but produced six during a subsequent 0-5-1 skid. The Red Wings snapped that losing streak in emphatic fashion Saturday with a 5-0 rout of Anaheim.
Veteran defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom had a season-high three points with two goals and an assist, Johan Franzen added a goal and two assists while snapping a six-game point drought, and Jimmy Howard stopped 22 shots during his seventh career shutout.
"It gives the whole team that relief that we finally won a game and we scored some goals, too," Lidstrom said. "We got rewarded by going to the net and getting some goals that way. It's something that we have to build on. It's only one game, but it was a big game for us."
The Red Wings (6-5-1) will face an Avalanche team that's looking for its own big game after dropping a season-high three in a row. For much of this season, Colorado has endured some inconsistent scoring efforts and that's also been the case during its skid.
The Avalanche (7-6-1) have scored one goal in two of their last three losses and six in the other, an overtime defeat in Dallas on Friday. Colorado has registered one goal or fewer six times this season and four or more in four games.
Paul Stastny scored his second goal in as many games 34 seconds into Sunday's matchup with visiting Calgary, but the Avalanche were shut out from there in a 2-1 defeat.
"It was disappointing ... because we had a great start," coach Joe Sacco said. "You can't get a better shift than we had on that first goal. You have to keep skating. You have to keep working after you get that goal. You can't just sit back and play on your heels."
Judging by shot totals, Colorado was the more tentative team during a 3-0 defeat to the Red Wings in its season opener in Denver on Oct. 8. The Avalanche were outshot 29-18 over the final two periods and that allowed Detroit to break open a scoreless game.
Franzen scored the game's first goal late in the second period, Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and an assist in the final 8:02, and backup Ty Conklin stopped 29 shots for his 17th career shutout.
It was the seventh consecutive meeting in which Detroit scored three goals or more. The Red Wings are 5-1-1 against Colorado over that stretch and 2-0-1 in the last three matchups at Joe Louis Arena.
Lidstrom has a team-best 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) during those seven games, while Franzen has seven goals and an assist in his past eight matchups with the Avalanche.
Colorado center Matt Duchene has four goals and three assists over his last five contests, and four goals and three assists in his last five against Detroit.