Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 11/5/11
DETROIT -- The Red Wings didn't care that the Anaheim Ducks were at the end of a seven-game, 13-day road trip, they just needed a win. Captain Nick Lidstrom, the ageless wonder, led the way with two goals and an assist as the Wings shut out the Ducks, 5-0, at Joe Louis Arena Saturday night. "What can you say about Nick that hasn't been said, you know?" said goaltender Jimmy Howard, who had 22 saves for his second shutout of the season. "He's one of the best, if not the best, all-time and we needed a guy to step up and he did. He's our leader and he came up big for us." The victory snapped a six game winless skid (0-5-1). The Ducks are now 3-25-7 in Detroit. It was Niklas Kronwall who scored the Wings' first goal with a shot from the right point at 7:04 of the first. Despite out-shooting the Ducks 18-7 in the first, that was the Wings' only goal. "Obviously guys were ready to play," coach Mike Babcock said. "In fairness to Anaheim, Anaheim's been on the road since October 24th. We get some long trips, too, and at the end of your trip if it doesn't go good at the start of the game, then it's hard to crawl your way back. I think we were out-shooting them 18-2 or something and were up 1-0. If they score a goal they're right back in the game." Having scored just six goals in their six losses, the Wings were delighted to start the second period with a goal from Henrik Zetterberg at 1:55 and then Lidstrom's from the left circle 50 seconds later. Lidstrom scored again early in the third when the Wings were on the power play, giving him a team-leading five this season. "The first one I just tried to shoot it far side, hoping for a stick, hoping for it to hit something," Lidstrom said. "I couldn't get on the short side, where I wanted it at first. The guy was taking that away. I think I got a lucky bounce and it went in. And then the power play, Homer's doing what Homer does best, standing there screening the goalie. I don't think he saw the puck at all." Johan Franzen scored the final goal midway through the third, backhanding the puck past Jonas Hiller and ending his night. He was replaced by Dan Ellis. Franzen also assisted on Kronwall's goal and Zetterberg's goal. Franzen is tied with Lidstrom for the team lead. In the end, the Wings peppered the Ducks with a season-high 50 shots on net. Only defenseman Mike Commodore did not get a shot on goal. "If we keep doing that, it's going to be hard to keep us from scoring," Franzen said. "But we were really determined tonight. We made up our mind before and we kept shooting and kept going to the net and finally got some second chances in there. We made it hard on him." Had the Wings lost, it would have marked the team's longest losing streak since the season before Lidstrom entered the league, the 1990-91 season. Thanks to Lidstrom, they didn't have to worry about it. "He's awful," Franzen joked. "He's great. he's stepping it up. I think he's leading us in goals. He's playing the same way, night in and night out, never has a bad game. He's huge for us." The Wings managed to preserve the shutout for Howard despite a late delay of game call against Jonathan Ericsson. "It's just icing on the cake for me," Howard said. "I wasn't really looking to go out and pitch one but it was nice. It was just a great effort in front of me. The guys did a great job, especially in the end. I think three guys blocked that shot in front of me, guys were doing that all night. You can see right from the get-go that guys were going to do whatever it took tonight." The Wings will get a well-deserved day off Sunday before returning to practice Monday to get ready for Tuesday night's game against Colorado. Having a win under their belt will help them enjoy their day. "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."
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