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Blues eye rebound effort against Rangers

(SportsNetwork.com) - The St. Louis Blues will try to shake off their worst loss of the season when they visit the New York Rangers in Thursday's clash at Madison Square Garden.

The Blues are currently second to Chicago in the Central Division standings, but the club has struggled lately, losing four of its last six games. On Tuesday, St. Louis suffered its most lopsided loss of the season, getting slammed, 7-1, by the New Jersey Devils.

One night after opening a four-game road trip with Monday's 4-1 win in Detroit, the Blues were blown out in Newark. The Devils jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of goals in a 24-second span less than three minutes into the game. St. Louis cut the deficit to 2-1 later in the first period, but New Jersey scored five unanswered goals the rest of the way.

Alexander Steen scored St. Louis' lone goal, while Brian Elliott allowed three goals on nine shots before being removed late in the first period. Jaroslav Halak turned aside just 10-of-14 shots in relief for the Blues.

"We've got some tough games coming up in the next couple of days and if we don't come together real quick we're going to have some lessons taught to us," said St. Louis center David Backes.

Vladimir Tarasenko missed his second straight game on Tuesday due to an illness and the Russian forward is questionable for tonight's game. The sophomore winger has 15 goals and 14 assists in 47 games this season.

The Blues are 15-6-3 as the visiting team this season and have lost two of their last three games as the guest. St. Louis is scheduled to close its current swing on Saturday against the New York Islanders before returning home for Tuesday's rematch against the Devils.

The Rangers, meanwhile, hope to bounce back from a loss after having a three- game winning streak halted in Tuesday's home test against the rival Islanders, who earned a 5-3 triumph at MSG.

The Blueshirts held leads of 2-0 and 3-1 on Tuesday, but allowed the Isles to tie the game by the end of the second period before Thomas Vanek recorded the game-winning goal on the power-play with 4:38 left in the third. Frans Nielsen added an empty-netter in the closing seconds to secure the win for the Islanders.

"Obviously their top line had quite an evening," said Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault. "It was, I thought, a hard-fought battle by both teams, but at the end of the day we made a couple of mistakes and they made us pay."

Rick Nash scored twice in the loss, while Chris Kreider had a goal and two assists. Nash has been on fire lately, scoring five times over his last three games and notching consecutive two-goal performances.

Cameron Talbot, subbing for an under-the-weather Henrik Lundqvist, halted 32- of-36 shots. Lundqvist could be back in Thursday's game, but New York's No. 1 netminder is 0-3-0 with a 3.06 goals against average in four career tests against the Blues.

Halak expects to get the call for St. Louis on Thursday. He is 6-4-0 with a 2.90 GAA in 11 lifetime appearances against the Rangers.

St. Louis recorded a 5-3 home win over the Rangers on Oct. 12. Backes scored twice in that game for the Blues, while Halak stopped 26-of-29 shots for the win.

The Blues have taken two straight and six of seven in this series and are 10-1-2 with a tie in the last 14 meetings overall. They also have won two straight and six of the past seven encounters in NYC.

01/23 10:57:03 ET

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Schedule

Sunday, April 20Full Scoreboard
Philadelphia «4Final | Box
NY Rangers2Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Series tied, 1-1.
Detroit1Final | Box
Boston «4Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Series tied, 1-1.
Tampa Bay2Final | Box
Montreal «3Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Three. Montreal leads series, 3-0.
Los Angeles2Final | Box
San Jose «7Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. San Jose leads series, 2-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3
 
Final
MIA 99
CHA 88
12:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
Final
CLE 6
TOR 4
Final
DET 2
ANA 1
Final
NYM 4
ATL 3
Final
MIA 3
SEA 2
Final
PIT 2
MIL 3
Final
WAS 3
STL 2
Final
TAM 1
NYY 5
Final
KAN 3
MIN 8
Final
CHC 2
CIN 8
Final
TEX 2
CWS 16
Final
OAK 4
HOU 1
Final
LOS 4
ARI 1
Final
COL 9
PHI 10
Final
SDP 3
SFG 4
Final
BOS 6
BAL 5
11:05am Today
BOS
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
ANA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
STL
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
ARI
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIL
SDP
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
SFG
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
TEX
 
10:10pm Tonight
SEA
HOU
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
SAN 90
DAL 85
Final
MIA 99
CHA 88
Final
CHI 93
WAS 102
Final
HOU 120
POR 122
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
MEM
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
GSW
Final
NYR 2
PHI 4
Final
BOS 4
DET 1
Final
MON 3
TAM 2
Final
SJS 7
LOS 2
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
COL
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
PIT
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
STL
9:30pm Tonight
DAL
ANA
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3
 
12:05pm Today
NOR
DUR