The Red Wings broke the Boston Bruins' mark for the longest home winning streak over multiple seasons. The Bruins won their final 20 games of the 1929-30 season and opened the following campaign with a pair of home wins.
"It was a big game for us because to be a really good hockey team you have to pass the big tests," said Helm. "I thought we played well tonight and we're able to keep things rolling."
Joey MacDonald made 31 saves to win his sixth straight start in place of Jimmy Howard, who is recovering from a broken right index finger.
Antti Niemi stopped 25 shots for San Jose, which had won five straight against the Red Wings and four in a row in the Motor City.
"They defend pretty well over there and he (MacDonald) makes the big saves when they need him to," said San Jose forward Joe Pavelski.
The Sharks suffered their third consecutive loss to fall to 1-3-1 on a nine- game road trip.
Zetterberg whipped a backhander through traffic past Niemi, giving the Red Wings a 1-0 lead 6:30 into the game.
The teams traded goals in the second period, and Detroit's Justin Abdelkader had a role in both of them.
First, he drove down the slot and tipped Miller's pass. Niemi made the save on the deflection, but Miller followed up the play and buried the rebound for a 2-0 lead at 10:40.
Roughly four minutes later, the Sharks converted on a power play with an assist from the Red Wing forward. San Jose forward Logan Couture was positioned to MacDonald's right and swatted the puck out of the air. The disc bounced off the top of the net and was inadvertently knocked in by Abdelkader as it descended.
Detroit regained its two-goal lead when Helm, off a feed from Miller, scored on a one-timer in the high slot at 7:01 of the third period.
The Sharks pulled Niemi in an effort to produce the equalizer, but to no avail.