Henrik Zetterberg is finding the best way to lead during his first year as captain of the Detroit Red Wings is to set the pace on the ice.

Zetterberg is off to a fast start. He has points in 10-of-12 games, including five multiple-point games, helping his team to a 7-4-1 start one-quarter of the way through the season.

“Hank has been huge for us,'' defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “Right now, he may be as good as I've seen him, the stuff he does out there, all the little things right. He's outworking everybody. Him and Pav (Datsyuk) are just tremendous.''

Zetterberg is third in the NHL with 18 points, behind Buffalo's Thomas Vanek (23) and Chicago's Patrick Kane (20). Zetterberg is tied for second in assists (13) with Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin, behind Martin St. Louis of Tampa Bay (14).

“I just go out and play, and the puck's been bouncing my way,'' Zetterberg said. “(Linemates Damien Brunner and Johan Franzen) have done a good job, and the power play has been better the last couple of games.

“So you just got to keep going. I know it won't last forever. You will have slumps when you're not scoring and getting points. You better be happy when they're coming.''

His torrid start is in stark contrast to 2011-12, when he picked up only five points (three goals, two assists) in his first 12 games. His offensive struggles continued through 52 games, when he had just 35 points (nine goals, 26 assists). He finished strong, however, with 34 points (13 goals, 21 assists) in his final 30 games and led the team with 69 points.