Tomas Holmstrom and Jiri Hudler also scored for Detroit, which improved its record to 9-2-1, best in the NHL. Henrik Zetterberg, the NHL's leading scorer, also earned an assist to extend his point streak to 12 games.
The Canucks thought they had tied the game with 28 seconds left but the referee waved off the apparent goal, ruling the whistle had blown.
Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood, making his second consecutive start for the injured Dominik Hasek, faced 29 shots to keep his record perfect after five games. Hasek is out with a hip injury.
Matt Cooke and Markus Naslund scored for Vancouver, who dropped to 5-7-0. The struggling Canucks are 1-5 in homes games this year and 2-5 in their last seven games.
Hudler's goal, with one minute left in the second period, gave Detroit a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes. The Red Wings scored with 16.2 seconds remaining in the first to lead 2-1.
Vancouver made the score 2-2 at 15:01 of the second off a scramble. Taylor Pyatt fired a shot that Osgood stopped, but Naslund was able to bang in the rebound for his fourth goal of the year.
Hudler restored the Detroit lead on a pretty play and a shot Canuck goaltender Roberto Luongo probably wished he had back.
Hudler took a pass from Samuelsson at the blue-line then used his speed to break in on Luongo. He scored on a shot that beat the Canuck goalie over his shoulder.
The Canucks got off to a good start, giving the sellout crowd of 18,630 something to cheer about when Cooke opened the scoring at 5:48. The feisty Winger was able to take the rebound of a Trevor Linden shot and put it past Osgood.
It took Detroit just 12 seconds to get that goal back. The cheers hadn't died down from the Canuck score when Pavel Datsyuk fired a shot that Luongo stopped. Holmstrom was left alone to scoop up a big rebound and put it into the net.
A mistake by Canuck defenceman Kevin Bieksa resulted in Detroit taking the lead in the period's dying seconds.
Bieksa whiffed on a shot attempt, allowing Samuelsson and Valtteri Filppula a two-on-one break. After a couple of pretty passes, Samuelsson put the puck behind Luongo.
Luongo's best save of the night came in the second period when he gloved a Zetterberg backhand off a breakaway.
The Red Wings beat Vancouver 3-2 Wednesday in Detroit.
Notes-Linden's assist on the first goal was his 411th as a Canuck, tying him for the franchise lead with Stan Smyl. ...The Canucks were coming off a four-game road trip where they managed two wins against a pair of losses. . .canuck defenceman Aaron Miller's last goal was Nov. 27, 2003, when he was a member of the L.A. Kings and scored against Phoenix.