They were not exactly scintillating against the Avalanche, which came into Joe Louis Arena 2-8 in its past 10 games against the Red Wings.

The Red Wings righted their ship Monday, however, holding on for a 3-2 victory.

The game was evenly played, although the Red Wings led by three and then two goals for most of it. But they were outshot 24-20, including 9-4 in the third period, when they failed to press the initiative.

Matt Duchene scored with 1:18 left to make it a one-goal game.

But Jimmy Howard made a few big saves late, including a beauty on P.A. Parenteau with seven seconds remaining. It appeared like it might be a tie game, but Howard got his catching glove there as Parenteau approached from the sideboards unabated.

"I just thought we didn't put enough pressure on them," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We got a little defensive."

Several players agreed.

"You've got to keep your foot on the gas and go after the opposition, and we didn't do enough of that," Babcock said.

He began the day about 12 hours earlier with a team meeting, urging his players to "flush" their performance against the Blackhawks last weekend in a 7-1 blowout loss.

It was important for the Red Wings to bounce back.

"It was big for us," said Howard (22 saves).

"I think the key tonight was keeping it simple, early. We just got the puck deep and then went to work, and we weren't turning it over, you know, like yesterday afternoon."