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Franzen tallies 3 as Red Wings roll

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Detroit's Brad Stuart defends against Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog as Wings goalie Jimmy Howard stops a shot.

Associated Press Enlarge

DETROIT -- As Johan Franzen goes, the Detroit Red Wings have followed this season.

Franzen scored three goals to help the suddenly potent Red Wings roll to a 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.

Detroit has won two straight with a combined 10 goals after scoring a total of six in a six-game skid following a 5-0 start.

"It's hard to believe they struggled like that," said Colorado's Kyle Quincey, a former Red Wings defenseman. "They're too good of a team for that."

They are much better when Franzen produces on offense.

In Detroit's seven wins, Franzen has eight goals and 13 points. He has been held scoreless in its six losses. The 6-foot-3, 223-pound forward known as "Mule" can be dominant when he shoots often, skates hard, and plays physical.

"He's a huge, gifted man," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.

Franzen, though, is prone to falling into deep slumps that keep him off the score sheet. Since starting strong in the previous 5-0 win in which he had a goal and two assists against Anaheim, Franzen and the Red Wings have gotten into a groove.

"We've been more relaxed since scoring the first two goals against Anaheim," Franzen said. "It seemed like the whole team got a load off our shoulders and we started to play better. We have the skill, but we had a lack of confidence."

Nicklas Lidstrom started the scoring with a slap shot from the slot off a giveaway midway through the first period.

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