He scored three goals in the third to lift Detroit to a 3-1 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night.
It was Zetterberg's third career hat trick. He had gone seven games without a goal and had only one in his past 11.
"It's a great confidence builder for him to get back on the scoresheet again," Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "He's had a lot of chances. He's been snakebit a little bit, not being able to score."
Manny Malhotra scored for Columbus, which had won the previous three meetings.
Zetterberg, who has 39 goals, tied the game at 1 at 6:43 into the third period with a spectacular effort. He took the puck from his own blue line into the Columbus zone, where he skated past defensemen Jan Hejda and Rostislav Klesla, before backhanding the puck past Blue Jackets goaltender Fredrik Norrena.
"The first one, I had a lot of speed coming and I got a great pass from Brian Rafalski and their D were kind of standing still," Zetterberg said. "I got through them and put it five-hole on the goalie. It was a good feeling to see it go in."
Zetterberg's second goal came on the power play with 1:54 left when he scored on a one-timer from the left circle.
He completed his hat trick with 1:19 left when he stole the puck from Jiri Novotny in the neutral zone, carried it into the Blue Jackets zone, made a fake on Norrena and put the puck into the empty net.
"We made a couple of mistakes and they wound up in the net," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said.
Malhotra's power-play goal opened the scoring 7:05 into the second period. He put in a loose puck for his 11th goal.
"It was a tough start, it was a grinding-type game," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "We took three penalties in the first period and it was hard to get any momentum. But I thought we hung in there and found a way to get it done."
- Columbus was without G Pascal LeClaire (head) and RW David Vyborny (knee sprain).
- C Kris Draper (groin), C Valtteri Filppula (groin) and RW Tomas Holmstrom (lower abdominal) missed the game for Detroit.
- Blue Jackets LW Fredrik Modin returned after missing a game with the flu.
- Columbus RW Jared Boll left the game with a hip injury after a collision with Modin early in the first period. He will be evaluated on Thursday.
- The Red Wings' three shots in the first period were the fewest they've had at home in a period this season.
- Blue Jackets C Dan Fritsche injured his hand in the second period and did not return. He will also be evaluated on Thursday.