DETROIT -- It's just something about these Detroit-Atlanta games that get Marian Hossa going.
Dan Cleary also scored and Chris Osgood made 30 saves for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who won their third straight.
The last time the two teams met was Jan. 15, and Hossa -- playing for the Thrashers -- had a hat trick in Atlanta's 5-1 win at Joe Louis Arena.
"Playing your former team and knowing a lot of guys on the team, you play with a little more jump," he said. "Today, I felt good and we created a lot of chances. We played well until the end."
Hossa was dealt to Pittsburgh at last season's trade deadline and helped the Penguins to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to Detroit. The Red Wings then signed Hossa to a one-year $7.45 million free agent contract.
"It seemed every time he got the puck in our zone, he created something toward the goal," Hainsey said about Hossa.
Hossa gave Detroit a 2-1 lead for good with his first goal. He picked up a loose puck just inside the Atlanta blue line, cut in off the left wing, used a fake and a toe drag while cutting across the slot on defenseman Mathieu Schneider, a former Red Wing, and goalie Kari Lehtonen and put the puck into the empty net.
"He made us look very bad on that play," Lehtonen said.
Hossa talked about the goal.
"I tried to take a shot and the defenseman bit on it," he said. "I was surprised that Kari went out of the net a little far. I saw the open net."
Hossa's third goal of the season made it 3-1, 5:29 into the second period on a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle after a give-and-go with defenseman Niklas Kronwall.
"We used to see that with him, so it's good to see him doing it for us," Zetterberg said. "He's had a lot of games where he's scored more than one goal. We're sure glad to have him with us."
Zetterberg got his second goal of the night and fourth of the season just 1:12 later on a rebound.
Hainsey scored a 5-on-3 power-play goal 4:48 into the third period, when he beat Osgood with a one-time slap shot from the top of the left circle for his second goal.
Sterling pulled Atlanta to within one with 3:49 left in the third period when his shot from the slot got through Osgood.
Daniel Cleary added an empty-netter with 35 seconds left.
Zetterberg's power-play goal gave Detroit a 1-0 lead 2:12 into the game.
Slater tied it with 5:25 left in the opening period when he put in a rebound after a turnover in his own zone by Red Wings defenseman Brett Lebda.
- Atlanta RW Jason Williams is also a former Red Wing.
- Slater was born in Lapeer, Mich., and played at Michigan State.
- Thrashers C Marty Reasoner limped off the ice and went to the locker room after blocking a shot early in the second period. He will be re-evaluated on Saturday.
- Detroit D Brian Rafalski has two assists to extend his point streak to start the season to seven games (a goal and eight assists).