The Red Wings measure themselves in six-game increments and just finished their second segment over the weekend.

All in all, it went much better than the first six games. The Wings -- who took Monday off after playing back-to-back game -- are on a three-game winning streak, built against quality opponents in the Blues, Oilers and Kings. The Wings next play Wednesday, when they'll meet the Blues for the fourth time in 13 games.

The Wings began their second segment with a win against the Blues on Feb. 1, then dipped with two stinkers -- first at Columbus and then at home against Calgary. Then came a solidly played game in St. Louis on Thursday, and weekend wins over Edmonton and Los Angeles, the latter a team that hadn't played for two days.

Coach Mike Babcock readily admitted he'd have been happy with two wins out of the three games in four days. The Wings got the third one on will and on goaltending, with Jimmy Howard making 45 saves.

Good goaltending, from Howard and Petr Mrazek, has helped limit opponents over the last six games to 15 goals, an improvement over the 17 allowed when the Wings went 3-2-1 the first six games of the season. The news on offense is even better: The Wings scored 18 goals the past six games, versus 14 the first six. Special teams have gotten better, too, with the power play improving from 4% to 20%. The penalty kill has been pretty even since the first two games of the season.

The Wings begin their third segment at 7-4-1. It's the last gentle stretch, with four of the six games at home. Once the Wings reach the halfway point of the 48-game season, 17 of the last 24 games are on the road, and 10 of those games come against teams in California and Western Canada.