Detroit's power play scored three times and Jimmy Howard made 17 saves at Joe Louis Arena to lead the Red Wings to victory in the first of a home-and-home series.
Henrik Zetterberg's man-advantage goal at 19:18 of the second period broke a 2-2 tie. Daniel Alfredsson and Johan Franzen scored power-play goals in the third period against Jonathan Bernier, who faced 37 shots.
"I thought we got better and better as the game went on and created some chances," said Alfredsson, who had missed Detroit's four previous games with a sore groin. "I had some very good looks where I didn’t bury it, but it feels good when you have the puck and you’re playing on the offensive side more. It gives you more energy, and I thought we had fun out there.”
"They kind of took over the game in the second period on us," Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said. "We were standing around watching them skate.