The Red Wings should be in good hands tonight no matter who's in the crease versus Colorado at Joe Louis Arena. In a 3-0 victory at Colorado back on Oct. 8 this season, Conklin made 29 saves for his first shutout of 2011-12 to spoil the Avs' home opener at the Pepsi Center.
Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk each scored for the Red Wings that day. Detroit and Colorado will face each other three more times this season, including Tuesday's tilt in the Motor City. Colorado has dropped eight of its previous 13 visits to Joe Louis Arena, where the Red Wings are 31-16-1-4 all-time in this series.
Detroit ended a six-game losing streak with Saturday's 5-0 blanking of the Anaheim Ducks behind 22 saves from Howard. It was the netminder's second shutout of the season and seventh of his career. Nicklas Lidstrom had two goals and an assist to help the Red Wings win for the first time since Oct. 21 versus Columbus. Franzen had a goal and two assists.
"The guys did a great job. We knew it was upon us," Howard said. "We knew the talent was in this dressing room to get it done. I was just going out there and working hard for them for the full 60 minutes."
The Red Wings are 1-1-1 on their six-game homestand and will also host the Oilers and Stars.
Colorado is currently in a funk, having lost three straight and six of eight games since a five-game winning streak. In a 2-1 loss versus Calgary on Sunday, Paul Stastny scored the lone goal 34 seconds into the game and Semyon Varlamov made 21 saves.
"We got that early goal and then we just got too cute," said Stastny, who has two goals in his last two games and a total of nine points (4g, 5a).
The Avalanche haven't enjoyed much success in the Rocky Mountains this season, going 1-5-0 on home ice, but are a league-best 6-1-1 as the guest. They have scored just one goal in three of the last five contests.