After a tough start Wednesday, the St. Louis Blues got back to proving that offensive chances begin with solid defense.
Despite being at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, the Blues limited the Red Wings to one shot in the third period and blocked a season-high 24 shots during a 4-3 overtime victory that snapped a five-game losing streak.
Detroit, which was playing the Blues for the fourth time in 13 days, managed just seven shots after the start of the second period.
"We're learning all of the lessons, hard lessons that teams like San Jose, LA, Anaheim, Vancouver, had to learn," said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock, whose team resumes a three-game road trip Friday night in Calgary. "We're trying to learn all those lessons and still win hockey games."
Blues' rookie goalie Jake Allen was up to the task, stopping 15 of 18 shots overall after allowing two goals on the Wings' first six shots.
"We've got to make sure the highs aren't too high, the lows aren't too low and just play that even-keel, good Blues hockey, which is hard to play against," Blues captain David Backes said. "It's got to be a consistent effort every night."
Blues center Alex Steen collected the game-winner less than a minute into overtime, banging home the rebound of a shot by defenseman Barret Jackman.
It was Steen's third goal in three games after he failed to score any in the first 10. Steen also led the Blues with five shots.
Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk led the team with four blocked shots Wednesday. He said the team's 6-1 start may have fed the belief there could be a natural progression from last season's 109-point campaign since so many of the same faces returned.
"We can't assume because the same guys are in the locker room that the same product's going to show up," Shattenkirk said. "We've got to work for it and that's the key. When Hitch came in last year, the fundamentals that he preached -- that we bought into -- we just need to get back to those."
The Blues have power-play goals in their last seven games and own the NHL's best power play (17-for-49, 34.7 percent).
* Blues winger Chris Stewart has five points in his last three games.
* Blues rookie winger Vladimir Tarasenko scored his sixth goal in 13 NHL games Wednesday and also has 11 points. The goal ended a four-game scoreless stretch for the talented Russian forward.
* Along with Shattenkirk's four blocked shots against Detroit, Barret Jackman and Ian Cole each aided the defensive effort with three blocks.