Coming off a 4-0 shutout loss at Nashville the night before and having lost five of their last six, the Blue Jackets outhustled and outskated Detroit 3-1 on Friday night to end the Red Wings' five-game winning streak.
Dan Fritsche, Alexander Svitov and Adam Foote scored goals and Fredrik Norrena made 41 saves to lead the way.
"I looked at the game last night and they were outshooting Nashville 20-9 at one point," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "Every team in our league right now since we've been running this (salary) cap system can beat every other team. There's not enough disparity. If you don't bring your A game, you don't win - it's that simple."
The Blue Jackets, 24th in the NHL on the power play, scored twice in eight man-advantage chances while the Red Wings were 0-for-6.
Norrena had a big night in goal, a day after Columbus tied a franchise record by being shut out for the 11th time this season.
"We scored three goals. That makes it even nicer," Norrena said. "It was nice to bounce back. It's important that we see that we can still beat the top teams. We want to stay in the hunt. We have to win a lot of games from now on."
With the Red Wings trailing 2-1 and buzzing the net late in the game, Foote provided the insurance goal when his blast from the point hit off Detroit defenceman Chris Chelios' leg and slipped past a surprised Dominik Hasek.
After the loss in Nashville, the Blue Jackets held a brief team meeting.
"We as players put a lot on this game," said Foote, who also had an assist. "We weren't too happy with our play last night. We realize we have to all buckle down and do our own job. If we that we'll be tough to beat."
Johan Franzen scored at the 4:53 mark of the third to end Norrena's shutout. The Red Wings, down 2-0 at the time, own the longest streak of consecutive games without a shutout in the NHL at 169 games. They have not been shutout in more than three years.
Columbus took a 1-0 lead at 16:40 of the first when Hasek stopped Manny Malhotra's hard one-timer only to have Fritsche pounce on the rebound and jam it home for his ninth of the season.
"They scored on a lucky bounce on the first one," said Hasek, who had 24 saves. "Their player (Fritsche) was in the crease and kind of pushed me away."
Midway through the second period, Detroit defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom picked up a four-minute double-minor for high sticking his former teammate, Sergei Fedorov, who cupped a hand over his bleeding left ear as he went to the penalty box.
Soon after, Foote's slap shot was redirected by Svitov for his fifth of the year.
The Red Wings cut the lead while each team was a man down. Lidstrom was on the short boards and passed to Niklas Kronwall for a hard shot from the point. Norrena blocked the shot, but Franzen was there to clean up for his fifth.
"Tonight's game was fair," Babcock said. "The team that competed the hardest for the longest won the game."
Notes: Columbus RW Nikolai Zherdev, slumping with only one goal in his last 21 games, was a healthy scratch. ... Detroit D Mathieu Schneider missed his sixth consecutive game with a knee injury. ... The Blue Jackets are 7-20-7 all time against the Red Wings. ... Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom each have six-game points streaks come to an end.