The slumping New York Rangers are having trouble generating offense and another road game isn't likely to help.
The Rangers look to avoid their seventh straight road loss Monday when they visit the St. Louis Blues for the first time in more than three years.
With a season-opening five-game win streak as part of an 18-8-2 start, New York (30-21-6)appeared to be one of the Eastern Conference's leading contenders. The Rangers, though, have gone 1-5-2 in their past eight games and now find themselves struggling in the competitive East, where fourth-place Philadelphia and ninth-place Carolina are separated by only eight points.
"I take full responsibility for where this team is right now," coach Tom Renney said following his team's 5-2 home loss to the Flyers on Sunday. "My job is to correct this, get us winning, get us feeling better about ourselves, getting a solution. It's as simple as that.
"It's not any one thing. It's going to have to be a collective effort. We have to come back to what makes us a good team."
Bouncing back will be difficult given the Rangers' recent struggles outside Madison Square Garden. They are 0-5-1 in their last six road games and have been outscored 25-5 while getting shut out three times during that stretch.
Although he was pulled in the second period Sunday after giving up four goals on 14 shots, Henrik Lundqvist will start Monday, according to the Rangers' official Web site. He has generally been playing well despite his team's poor record of late, entering Sunday with a 2.42 goals-against average in his previous six starts.
"Right now we just have to recover and get ready for (Monday) night's game," said Lundqvist, who has never faced the Blues. "We have a good group here. We just have to get together and start playing as good as we can."
The Rangers will be without defenseman Paul Mara on Monday after he injured his shoulder during a third-period fight Sunday.
Scoring has been a problem all season for New York, which is last in the NHL with 2.36 goals per game and mired in a 1-for-31 power-play drought.
Centers Scott Gomez and Chris Drury will need to pick up their play if the Rangers are to reach the playoffs for a fourth straight season. Gomez has no goals in seven games while Drury has gone 10 consecutive contests without a goal.
While New York is trying to avoid falling further in the East standings, the Blues (23-25-7) are making a push in the West.
Although St. Louis is tied for last in the conference, it is only eight points out of eighth place after going 7-2-4 since Jan. 15.
The Blues are coming off a 1-0 win over visiting Chicago on Friday as Chris Mason stopped 22 shots and Brad Boyes scored his team-leading 25th goal and fifth in the last six contests.
"We got the goal when we needed it," Boyes said. "(Mason) again stood on his head. We need to keep going. We just have got to build off games like this."
Mason, who began this season as Manny Legace's backup, is 6-2-3 with a 1.61 GAA in his last 11 games. He has two shutouts in his last five home starts, but has appeared in only one game against the Rangers, allowing three goals on 17 shots in a 5-1 loss in 2005 while with Nashville.
This is the first meeting between the teams since the Rangers' 3-2 shootout win March 3, 2007, and the first in St. Louis since New York's 5-4 victory Dec. 10, 2005.