Gustav Nyquist notched the game winner early in the third period, as Detroit topped Minnesota by a 3-2 count to open a home-and-home series at Xcel Energy Center.
Brendan Smith and David Legwand also scored. Jimmy Howard stopped 28 shots for the Red Wings, who have won three in a row and look for a sweep on Sunday back in Detroit.
Mikko Koivu and Charlie Coyle supplied the offense for the Wild, who have dropped four of their last five. Dracy Kuemper took the loss despite making 27 saves.