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Blues unbeaten in last nine games

11/4/2002

NEW YORK (AP) -- While the St. Louis Blues keep finding ways to
win, the New York Rangers are letting games slip away night after
night.

Scott Mellanby scored a goal and added an assist, and Doug
Weight had two assists Sunday to lead the Blues to a 3-2 victory
over the Rangers.

Weight has 14 points in the last seven games for the Blues, who
got 23 saves from Fred Brathwaite. St. Louis extended its winning
streak to eight games and is unbeaten in nine. New York is 2-6 in
its last eight games.

"Freddy's playing great,'' Weight said. "We've won with four
different goalies so far and that's a good indication of how we're
playing together as a team. We're finding ways to win.''

The Rangers, on the other hand, are struggling and have been
hurt time and again following penalties taken by Eric Lindros.
Lindros was in the box for high-sticking when Mellanby scored the
winner.

Mellanby intercepted a clearing attempt at the left circle and
beat Mike Richter to the stick side at 6:03 of the third period for
his third goal of the season.

Lindros, who saw limited ice time after a penalty Saturday led
to a loss in Boston, was benched the rest of the way.

"Hockey is a contact sport,'' Lindros said. "I understand what
they're trying to do, but it's tough to play the game this way.''

Brian Leetch lifted New York into a 2-2 tie with a power-play
goal at 17:21 of the second period. Leetch pounced on the rebound
of Ronald Petrovicky's shot and backhanded it into the top corner
for his first goal of the season.

"We're certainly disappointed with not having more victories
and not being able to win some of these tough games,'' Leetch said.

Martin Rucinsky scored his second goal of the season during a
5-on-3 power play to give St. Louis a 2-1 first-period lead.

Rucinsky, Mellanby and Weight engaged in a nifty exchange of
passes as they collapsed New York's defense. Rucinsky was able to
chip in the puck after a final pass left him staring at an empty
net at 17:40.

"We were fortunate to come out of the first period up 2-1,''
St. Louis coach Joel Quenneville said. "We certainly didn't
control the play, and even after two we were 2-2 and we knew we had
a chance.

"I didn't think we skated very well tonight but we played smart
enough to keep ourselves in play.''

Dallas Drake pulled St. Louis into a 1-1 tie with his fifth of
the season. Drake, standing just to the right of the crease, was
able to slip the rebound of Mellanby's shot under Richter at 14:22.

Mark Messier gave New York a 1-0 lead at 8:17 when he converted
the rebound of a shot by Dale Purinton from the low slot for his
sixth goal.

Messier played his 1,616th game, passing Larry Murphy for second
place on the NHL career list.

Game notes
Former Rangers star Rod Gilbert presented Pavel Bure with
the team's player of the month award before the game. ... The Blues
have won four straight at Madison Square Garden.