The 26-year-old used them against his former team, scoring in regulation and adding the winning shot in the shootout to lift the Red Wings to a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.
"The way he holds onto the puck to the last instance and then gently sliding it across the goal line," Colorado winger Milan Hejduk said. "That is Peter Forsberg."
Pavel Datsyuk also scored in the shootout and in regulation to help Detroit end a three-game losing streak.
"That's a nice move that Zetterberg did on the shootout goal that Kent Nilsson was the first to do in the World Championships in 1989," Detroit defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom said. "People remember Forsberg doing it for the gold medal."
Zetterberg didn't mind the comparison with Colorado's long-time standout and fellow Swede, who is now with Philadelphia.
"Forsberg did it in the Olympics and I think a lot of guys do it now," Zetterberg said. "When it works, it's nice, but if the goalie just stays in there, then you look kind of foolish."
Robert Lang scored a third-period power-play goal to tie it for Detroit. Datsyuk also had an assist for the Red Wings, who defeated Colorado for the seventh consecutive time.
Goalie Dominik Hasek made 22 saves. He allowed Joe Sakic to score in the shootout.
Chris Chelios played for Detroit for the first time since two employees were murdered at his restaurant.
"Any time you have been on the losing side, it takes a game like this to get you out of it," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "I thought we were awful in San Jose and a little better in L.A. and better in Anaheim and much better tonight."
Ben Guite scored his first career goal, a short-handed score. Wojtek Wolski and Hejduk had the other goals for Colorado, which had its three-game winning streak snapped.
The goal was the 500th career point for Hejduk. Peter Budaj made 40 saves.
"Peter Budaj was remarkable in the net," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. "It was unfortunate that we lost, but we came away with a point in our first shootout loss of the year,"
Budaj slid to the left in the crease to steer aside a shot by Zetterberg halfway through overtime and Datsyuk on a breakaway in the last minute. Hasek's only save in overtime came when he blocked Sakic's deflection in the last 15 seconds.
Colorado killed the 1:49 of Tyler Arnason's penalty to start the third period. Then the Avalanche took a 3-2 lead on Hejduk's 15th goal at 3:47, a shot from the lower right circle.
The lead was short-lived as Lang beat Budaj from the left circle at 5:12 after receiving a cross-ice pass from Mikael Samuelsson. Andrew Brunette had been in the penalty box for six seconds at the time of Lang's 11th goal of the year.
Colorado killed off a penalty on Kurt Sauer midway through the period. Detroit did the same on a penalty on Samuelsson at 16:22.
The teams exchanged power-play goals in the first period. Zetterberg scored from the right circle, converting Datsyuk's pass from behind the net at 7:20.
Wolski matched it at 11:59 for Colorado, skating between two Red Wings and sending a shot over Hasek's stick. Detroit nearly regained the lead late in the period when Tomas Holmstrom's centring pass went off the stick of Brett Clark toward the net, but Budaj smothered the puck in the crease.
Datsyuk put the Red Wings ahead 2-1 with his 11th goal of the year 7:35 of the second period. Lidstrom stole the puck from Hejduk at centre ice and Datsyuk did the rest, spinning Colorado defenceman Karlis Skrastins around and tapping the puck between Budaj's pads.
Guite tied it 2-2 with an unassisted goal and Colorado short-handed at 12:04. Detroit outshot the Avalanche 12-5 in the period.
"He gave me the shot. He took a look at Sakic and I let a quick shot go," Guite said. "When I got back to the bench I had to remind myself to come back to earth."
Notes: The Red Wings have gone 163 games without being shut out, the longest active streak in the NHL. The all-time record is 264 games set by the Calgary Flames, from Nov. 12, 1981-Jan. 9, 1985. ... Detroit D Mathieu Schneider was a game time scratch with a sprained knee. ... Colorado captain Sakic was named to the starting lineup for the Western Conference in the upcoming NHL all-star game. ... Colorado played its first game without D John-Michael Liles, sidelined four weeks with a broken left foot. ... Colorado D Karlis Skrastins played in his 475th consecutive game.