• Detroit snapped a two-game winless streak and Chris Osgood won his 368th career game (one behind Tom Barrasso for 14th in NHL history).
• The Red Wings were 3-for-5 on the power play and lead the NHL with a 33.3 percent conversion rate (17-for-51). Vancouver was 0-for-7.
• Henrik Zetterberg scored his eighth goal of the season, all coming in the last eight games.
-- ESPN research
"If you're plus in the special teams you have a real good chance of winning and we were tonight," said Rafalski. "The power play has given us an opportunity to be in all the games and you put together a night like tonight where we kill all the penalties and we're in a pretty good situation."
Chris Osgood made 25 saves, and Jiri Hudler added two assists as the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings improved to 8-2-2 to start this season.
"Obviously we've got a good thing going right now and it's been good for us all year," said Rafalski of a Red Wings power play that went 3-for-5, wasting little time improving on an already league-best 30.4 percent efficiency rating.
Vancouver came in with the NHL's only perfect penalty killing on home ice, but was no match for a Detroit power play that featured Samuelsson scoring on its first shot, ending the Canucks' streak of 12 straight kills at home this season.
After defenseman Sami Salo whiffed on a great chance to clear the zone, Samuelsson completed a pretty three-way passing play with a perfect one-timer high to the glove side that caught Roberto Luongo moving to his right 13:30 into the first.
Rafalski doubled the lead with the second shot of Detroit's second power play, a shot from the point that deflected past Luongo 6:29 into the second period.
"Obviously we have some high-end players," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock.
Zetterberg showed why he might be the best of the bunch late in the second. After Henrik Sedin closed the gap, Zetterberg restored Detroit s two-goal cushion during a 5-on-3 with 68 seconds left in the period, driving the net and somehow sifting a sharp-angle backhand shot through Luongo from just above the goal line.
"I had Hudler on the back door and [Dan] Cleary in the slot so I just tried to go in one-on-one with Luongo and was lucky to get it through his arm," said Zetterberg, who also hit the post before the second Canucks penalty expired.
Kyle Wellwood also scored for the Canucks, playing their third game in four nights after consecutive wins in Los Angeles and Anaheim on Thursday and Friday.
"They have a great power play, that's for sure," said Luongo, who finished with 20 saves. "We didn't take that many penalties but when we did they made us pay."
At the other end, Vancouver managed just seven shots on its first six power plays as the Red Wings tightened up their penalty killing, which uncharacteristically came in having given up 10 goals the previous six games and ranked 23rd in the NHL.
"We saw a few things we had to work on, mostly communication and putting more pressure on," Rafalski said of Saturday's extra penalty kill practice. "We were sitting back on our heels and watching and not being as aggressive as we'd like."
Wellwood made it 3-2 with 12:40 left, scoring seconds after the sixth Canucks power play expired. But Vancouver only managed one shot on their seventh advantage after Daniel Cleary was whistled for goaltender interference with 7:14 left, and Osgood robbed Ryan Kesler on a one-timer from 15 feet seconds after it expired.
"This might have been his best effort," Babcock said of Osgood. "Our penalty kill has always been outstanding and this year we got off to a real slow start. Once you start killing the way you should you get a little confidence."
Zetterberg and Samuelsson each also had an assist, but Detroit sniper Marian Hossa had his point streak ended at nine games.
Vancouver RW Jannik Hansen, who is fourth among NHL rookies with seven points, missed the game and is listed as day-to-day after pulling his groin late in Friday s 7-6 shootout win in Anaheim. ... It was Detroit's first win in regulation on the five-game trip (3-1-1) after winning the first two in shootouts. The Wings went 8-for-21 on the power play on this road trip. ... After playing eight of the first 11 on the road, Vancouver was starting a six-game home stand.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Rogers Arena Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Referees: Rob Shick, Kyle Rehman Linesmen: Lonnie Cameron, Mark Wheler
Attendance: 18,630 (99.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Mikael Samuelsson (2)
(Power Play) Assists: Henrik Zetterberg, Jiri Hudler
Brian Rafalski (3)
(Power Play) Assists: Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom
Henrik Sedin (3)
Assists: Daniel Sedin, Mattias Ohlund
Henrik Zetterberg (8)
(Power Play) Assists: Mikael Samuelsson, Jiri Hudler
Kyle Wellwood (4)
Assists: Sami Salo, Mason Raymond