Even when the San Jose Sharks don’t score, they win.
The Sharks (8-0-1) are the NHL's last team without a regulation loss. It was the first game of a four-game Eastern road swing for San Jose.
"We scored a lot of goals in our first eight games. We're not going to keep scoring like that," Couture said.
Each goalie was credited with a shutout for not allowing a goal in 65 minutes.
It was Niemi's third shutout against Detroit. He also stopped Todd Bertuzzi on Detroit's final shootout attempt with a spectacular pad save.
"Not much space out there. It was very playoff like," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "Both teams a prevent-type game. ... It was a chess match, there's no doubt about it. Even on the power play and penalty kills, the teams didn't get a lot of looks."
Howard praised the way his team played without the puck.
"I thought we did a good job on their top guys. We didn't give them a lot of room and space. Another thing that was a positive was we didn't give up a lot of odd-man rushes," Howard said. "That's been an Achilles' heel of late for us. We did a great job of keeping the third man high in the offensive zone, making them come 200 feet. We didn't turn pucks over. It's a good sign."
Detroit's Brendan Smith hit the outside of the goal post with 4:57 remaining in regulation. Niemi made an outstanding save on Daniel Alfredsson's shot from the bottom of the right circle 7:31 into the second period.
San Jose outshot Detroit 7-4 in a scoreless opening period, in which the Red Wings killed off two penalties.
"There was two pretty good teams there tonight. I thought our young D played pretty good. There wasn't much in the way of scoring chances either way," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
"Both teams played real tight. I thought it was a good game. Just no room for either team. I think both teams checked really well. Not a lot of freedom for guys."
The Sharks announced after the game they acquired right wing Mike Brown from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a fourth-round pick at the 2014 NHL Draft.
Material from wire services was used in this report.