The St. Louis Blues have posted shutouts in both home games this season and own the NHL's best home record since the start of last season.

Playing tight defense and paying attention to tiny details -- clearing pucks, forechecking, minimizing mistakes, finishing checks -- is a big reason why.

"Last year we talked about putting work in ahead of skill and that took some convincing," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "But if you look back on it, we won (early) against Chicago and Detroit with that attitude and I think it just reinforced the way we had to play the game to win.

"It became a little bit easier sell because we had success right away."

In winning their two home games by a combined score of 9-0 --6-0 over Detroit and 3-0 over Nashville -- the Blues allowed a total of 27 shots. Neither team had more than 14.