The Flyers have one win in their last 19 games at Joe Louis Arena, and they fell to 1-5 this season, matching their worst six-game start, points-wise, in franchise history.
The 1999-2000 Flyers also began the season with just two points (0-4-1-1) through six games.
Optimists will recall that those Flyers rebounded, finished 45-25-12-3, and reached the conference finals.
Realists will note that the teams aren't comparable because the 1999-00 squad featured game-changing players such as Eric Lindros, John LeClair, Mark Recchi, and Eric Desjardins.
Tye McGinn, recalled from the AHL Phantoms earlier in the day, scored on a rebound with about 14 minutes left to get the Flyers to within 3-2. Claude Giroux picked up an assist, his first point of the season.
The Flyers applied some offensive pressure after McGinn's goal, but Detroit secured the win when Zetterberg scored with 6:12 to go - a shot goalie Ray Emery would like to have back.
Zetterberg later added an empty-net goal.
The Flyers had an odd-looking lineup because of injuries to forwards Scott Hartnell and Vinny Lecavalier. They played with more energy and focus, but Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (32 saves) had most of the answers.
The two players the Flyers recalled from Adirondack - McGinn and Michael Raffl - were used on the first and second lines, respectively.
"Both came out with good energy and played well," Berube said.
The Flyers have scored eight goals, their lowest total in the first six games in franchise history. Part of the blame is because the power play is 2 for 27 (7.4 percent), and has not connected in its last 15 attempts.
"Our power play has to get a little more crisp," Berube said. "We're tentative and not attacking enough, not shooting enough on the power play. The other thing is . . . getting more traffic. It'll come."
"I thought the guys played well and deserved a better fate," Emery said. ". . ..There are some saves I have to make."