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Crombeen, Blues continue road woes for Rangers

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Even a trip to one of the Western

Conference's bottom feeders could not help the New York Rangers

solve their goal-scoring problem.

B.J. Crombeen scored to snap a tie with just over five minutes

remaining in the third period as the St. Louis Blues skated to a

2-1 win over the reeling Rangers on Monday.

Defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo also scored and Chris Mason made 19

saves for St. Louis, which outshot New York, 33-20, in handing

the visitor its seventh consecutive road loss.

The Rangers' descent in the Eastern Conference standings

continued in this one, and once again a lack of offensive punch

is the primary cause of their problems. They have lost eight of

nine and have not scored more than two goals in any of those

defeats.

"This was a winnable game for us," New York coach Tom Renney

said. "We had chances on the power play and we held them at

bay. We had traffic in front and we used it to create chances.

But we're trying to start over at a difficult point in the

season."

Mason faced only four shots in the third period as New York

generated little in the way of scoring opportunities.

"The second half of the game, we just did not give them anything

at all - especially in the third period," Mason said.

"I don't know if we gave them a lot of scoring chances the first

half of the game. We kept them outside," St. Louis coach Andy

Murray said. "Plus, they were using a few less players (in

their offense) than we were. It really wore them down at the

end."

Rookie Lauri Korpikoski netted the Rangers' lone goal late in

the second period to knot the score at 1-1.

Henrik Lundqvist was stellar in net in the losing effort, making

13 of his 31 saves in the final session.

"He gave us every chance to win this game tonight," Renney said.

"Now, we need to finish the job. Should have had at least a

point from this one."

But the Swede allowed a rebound off a shot from the left point

by defenseman Barret Jackman, which Crombeen picked up and

lifted past a sprawling Lundqvist for a 2-1 lead with 5:14

remaining.

"When the puck came off him (Lundqvist), I knew he was going to

try and make that second effort," Crombeen said. "So, I just

waited, and put it as high as I could."

While New York is in the midst of a collapse, St. Louis improved

to 7-2-3 in its last 12 games in an attempt to climb into

playoff contention.

"We have a lot of work to do," Crombeen said. "But we can get

there. We are now playing like we think we can get it done."

The Blues opened the scoring midway through the second period

after Andy McDonald won a faceoff and fed Colaiacovo, who

blasted a shot from the left point for his third goal of the

season.

Korpikoski tied the score with 3:13 left in the second, spinning

in the left faceoff circle and snapping a shot past Mason.

"We just seem to have to work so hard to score just one goal,"

Korpikoski said. "I guess that's what we'll have to keep on

doing."

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