Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 11/9/11
DETROIT When the Red Wings were mired in a six-game losing streak, coach Mike Babcock decided he had to separate the Euro Twins, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. In their six losses, the Wings scored a total of six goals. Since Datsyuk began centering Tomas Holmstrom and Danny Cleary, and Zetterberg began centering Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula, the Wings have scored 10 goals in two games. "I think it's pride and working hard," Babcock said. "I thought Z's line was real good, and Pavel's one of those guys that can make anything happen at any time of the game. When the pressure was on, suddenly got another one for us there. It's just they're great players." Franzen, in particular, has caught fire. He had a goal and two assists in Saturday's 5-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Tuesday night he had a hat trick, giving him a team-leading eight goals. The power forward said he doesn't make the team go, the team makes him go. "I'm not hot until everyone else is hot," Franzen said. "When we play good, I get opportunities, other guys get opportunities. We all go together. It's not much about me, it's more the whole team." But it's also about playing with Zetterberg and Filppula. "Those two are really skilled with the puck, a lot of speed, so I can play my game a little better, too, try to go to the net and do all that and I know they will get the puck there and win battles and all that," Franzen said. "I think I can play the way I'm supposed to play a little bit better because they're really good." Zetterberg has one goal and Filppula has three assists in two games. The first of Franzen's goals Tuesday was originally credited to Filppula but was changed later. Franzen apologized to Filppula, who was not bothered by losing a goal and gaining an assist. He was just happy that his line was clicking. "I think we've been moving the puck pretty well and getting chances that way," Filppula said. "Obviously, Mule and Hank, they both shoot really well, so my job is trying to get the puck to them as much as possible. So far we've been able to score a few goals, so that's always nice." Babcock knows what a weapon Franzen can be when he gets going. "The more he shoots and the more he skates and the more physical he is, I mean, he's a huge, gifted man who can obviously shoot the puck," Babcock said. "The puck was obviously following him around. I thought Filppula was fantastic (Tuesday)." Ageless wonder Lost in Franzen's hat trick Tuesday was the fact that captain Nick Lidstrom scored another goal. Until Franzen started his scoring barrage, Lidstrom briefly held the team lead for goals with six. Lidstrom also has five assists, giving him 11 points in 13 games. "Just try to jump up when the opportunity's there, find openings and shoot the puck when you have a chance to; get it on net," Lidstrom said. "It's kind of a fluke that the puck's going in for me." Lidstrom, who won his seventh Norris Trophy last summer, may be 41 years old but no one is calling him old. "Nick's playing he's playing great, isn't he?" Danny Cleary said. "I mean, even the other guys are talking in face-offs. The guy hasn't lost a step in years. It's amazing." New Red Wing Ian White, who has played against Lidstrom for several years, is now getting a chance to play with him as his defense partner and shares Cleary's admiration. "It's amazing," White said. "Definitely won the lottery this year getting the opportunity to play with this guy. It's amazing day in and day out, and you just see it out there every shift." Young Colorado forward Gabriel Landeskog, who scored a power-play goal in the 5-2 loss to the Wings on Tuesday, might have made Lidstrom feel a little old as Landeskog was born more than a year after Lidstrom made his NHL debut. It was Landeskog's second time playing against Lidstrom. "It's a pretty surreal feeling, to be honest with you," Landeskog said in a first intermission interview. "My dad used to be a defenseman in the Swedish Elite League, and even my dad looks up to Nick Lidstrom, so that tells you how big he is back home and how big he is for me and my family." Lidstrom is currently on pace for 36 goals. His career best is 20 goals, set in the 1999-2000 season. Power play improving The Red Wings had two power-play goals Tuesday night against the Avalanche. That success helped them jump from being tied for 18th in overall power-play percentage to 13th. "It was great to see the power play respond with two goals, especially when we needed them, too," Lidstrom said. "It was only a one-goal game, and we get two on the power play to get us going." Babcock liked seeing that production but did not enjoy seeing the Avalanche also get two power-play goals. "If you think about it, the last two games we scored just as the guy got out of the box. It's really been coming, so that's a positive," Babcock said. "What was more a concern for me (Tuesday) was the penalty kill. To me, I thought Howie (Jimmy Howard) got pushed in on the first one. But that second one, there's no way there should be an opportunity in there. It just shouldn't happen like that, so we've got to do a better job for sure." Milestone goal Cleary scored his 100th goal as a Red Wing on Tuesday night, the 43rd player to reach 100 wearing the winged wheel. Unfortunately, he didn't know where the puck ended up. He learned about the milestone from his teammates. "They said it to me in the locker room," Cleary said. "It's cool. It's been a great place for me to play hockey, for sure." Cleary has 141 career goals. "Been trying to shoot as much as I can," Cleary said. "You know, it was good to get one. Pav shooting the puck, so it was good." Odds and ends Todd Bertuzzi missed his second straight game because of illness and Patrick Eaves missed his third straight because of a back injury. Zetterberg's next game will be his 600th NHL contest. The Avalanche were a league-best 6-1-1 on the road before losing in Detroit on Tuesday. Former Red Wing Kyle Quincey played in his 200th career NHL game. Matt Duchene has five goals and seven assists in 15 games.
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