No one needed to say anything. The Red Wings knew their past and knew what they had to do in the present to protect their future.

They delivered with a well-played 4-0 victory over Central Division rival Nashville on Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena, ending a five-game winless streak and earning a touch of swagger entering today's home game against the Canucks.

Drew Miller, Tomas Tatar, Niklas Kronwall and Daniel Cleary scored, and Jimmy Howard made 33 saves for his first shutout of the season and 12th of his career.

"Shutouts -- they get credited to the goalie, but it's more of a team aspect," Howard said. "We need everyone pitching in for myself to go out there and get one. I think it's more of a team stat."

The Wings had pocketed just two points dating to their last victory two weeks ago. That imposed even more urgency on Saturday's game than usual; in this lock-out shortened season, and with a travel-heavy second half looming, the Wings knew they couldn't afford to sink too far out of the playoff picture.