Brad Richards returned to the lineup after missing 13 games with a back injury and Brendan Smith returned after missing five because of illness.
The Wings got a couple of early chances when Pavel Datsyuk had a chance at the right doorstep but Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jhonas Enroth was there to save the fluttering puck.
Then Gustav Nyquist was in a similar position, taking a nice feed from Riley Sheahan at the left side of the net, but all Nyquist found was Enroth's glove.
The Kings got the first power play of the game when Luke Glendening was called for hooking at 2:41.
Jake Muzzin hit the crossbar and Petr Mrazek made a save on Alec Martinez.
At 7:07, the Kings' leading scorer Tyler Toffoli (10 goals, 7 assists) had a shot but Mrazek gloved it.
Mrazek and Toffoli played together for the Ottawa 67's in the OHL.
The Wings have had trouble scoring 5-on-5 but have been better on the power play so far this season.
That proved to be the case when Kings defenseman Derek Forbort was called for holding Darren Helm at 12:39.
Tomas Tatar was just inside the left circle when Justin Abdelkader backhanded the puck to him for a power-play goal at 14:10.
Henrik Zetterberg also assisted on the goal for his team-leading 16th point, but his first point in seven games.
The Wings had another power play when Drew Doughty was called for tripping Dylan Larkin.
But instead, the Kings got a shorthanded goal from Jeff Carter at 16:21. Anze Kopitar and Alec Martinez assisted.
DETROIT, 1 LOS ANGELES 1
SCORING: 1. DET. Tatar PPG (Abdelkader, Zetterberg), 14:10; 2. LAK, Carter SHG (Kopitar, Martinez), 16:21.
PENALTIES: 1. DET. Glendening (tripping), 2:41; 2. LAK. Forbort (holding), 12:39; 3. LAK. Doughty (tripping), 16:09; 4. LAK. Gaborik (high-sticking), 19:52.
SHOTS: Detroit 10, Los Angeles 14.
The Wings started the second period with 1:53 left on their power play but it was negated quickly when Abdelkader was called for holding 30 seconds into the frame.
Although the Wings couldn't score on the power play or while playing 4-on-4, they did have extended offensive zone time afterward, which led to a goal.
Larkin drove to the net and the puck came out. Mike Green kicked the puck to his stick and shot it past Enroth at 3:45. It was called an unassisted goal.
It was Green's first goal as a Red Wing and first since he scored for the Capitals at Detroit on April 5, 2015.
At 6:08, Larkin drove to the net on the left side and was there to clean up the rebound of Abdelkader's shot. Zetterberg also assisted.
Larkin now has a three-game goal streak and improved to plus-14, best in the league at the moment.
Mrazek had no trouble with Washington's Alex Ovechkin but Carter was his kryptonite Friday night.
Carter scored his second goal of the game at 10:43 when the two teams were playing 4-on-4. Toffoli and Muzzin assisted.
At 17:39, Tatar put a good shoulder-to-shoulder hit on Toffoli, who strugglef to the bench. But Toffoli was able to return to the game before the end of the period.
DETROIT 3, LOS ANGELES 2
SCORING: 1. DET, Green (unassisted), 3:45; 2. DET. Larkin (Abdelkader, Zetterberg), 6:08. 3. LAK, Carter (Toffoli, Muzzin), 10:43.
PENALTIES: 1. DET, Abdelkader (holding), 0:30; 2. DET, Marchenko (holding), 9:15; 3. LAK, Gaborik (high-stick, double minor), 9:17; 4. DET, Abdelkader (holding the stick), 12:58.
SHOTS: Detroit 9 (19), Los Angeles 16 (29).
The Wings had a very inauspicious start to the third period.
Larkin, skating into the offensive zone, appeared to catch a rut in the ice and his right leg buckled under him and he slid all the way to the boards behind Enroth.
When he finally got p, Larkin immediately skated off and went to the dressing room.
With Larkin out, Luke Glendening took shifts with Zetterberg and Abdelkader.
Larkin returned to the bench at around 8:15 of the third and was back on the ice at the 9:40 mark.
At 11:59, Dustin Brown's shot hit the blade of Danny DeKeyser's stick and hit him in the face, drawing blood.
DeKeyser had to leave the game for some treatment but returned to the bench quickly.
Datsyuk took a shift between Tatar and Nyquist in addition to going with Richards and Pulkkinen.
Jordan Nolan got a big hit on Darren Helm at 17:22.
Then fans were irate at 17:47 when Carter was nearly sitting on top of Larkin and no penalty was called.
The Kings lifted Enroth at 19:05. Abdelkader and Glendening had blocked shots to preserve the win.
DETROIT 3, LOS ANGELES 2
SHOTS: Detroit 10 (29); LA 8 (37).