Lidstrom scored Detroit's third goal late in the second period and its third 1:39 into the final frame, adding an assist as the Red Wings avoided a seventh straight loss.
Howard stopped all 22 shots he saw to post his second shutout of the year and seventh of his career.
Jonas Hiller was pulled midway through the third period after allowing all five goals on 45 shots for the Ducks, who fell to 1-5-3 in their last nine games.
Dan Ellis went 5-for-5 in saves the rest of the way for Anaheim.
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