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Blues collapse all the way around against Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Nearly snapped into two pieces, Brian Elliott's goaltending stick lay outside the St. Louis Blues' locker room, evidence of the frustration in net following Tuesday night's 7-1 loss to New Jersey.

Elliott left the game in the first period after the Devils had rung up three goals and was not seen back on the bench for a few minutes. His whereabouts were obvious, his actions known without being seen.

"There's your answer," Elliott said, pointing to the damaged stick. "If you don't get frustrated with that (game), there's something wrong with you. You've got to take pride as a player and as a team. That's not what we want to put out on the ice."

In a game that was reflective of an overall team collapse, not just the goaltending, Elliot and Jaroslav Halak combined to allow seven goals on just 23 shots on goal. It was the most allowed by the Blues this season.

Elliott surrendered three goals on nine shots before being replaced by Halak, with the Blues trailing New Jersey 3-1.

"I feel bad putting him in a position that he has to come in like that," Elliott said. "When it rains it pours."

It poured on Halak, too, as he gave up four goals on 14 shots.

"I know you've got to be ready all of the time," Halak said. "It was a tough night for everybody, not only for 'Ells' and myself. We didn't look like our team."

The Blues blocked just four New Jersey shots Monday -- one each by defensemen Barret Jackman, Jay Bouwmeester and Jordan Leopold and forward Alexander Steen.

"We just came out flat," forward Chris Stewart said. "We left 'Ells' out to dry, and then we left 'Jaro' out to dry. It's brutal. Those are guys who battle for us all year and saved our (butts) two or three years in a row now. So we've got to be better for them. It's time to take a serious look in the mirror and get ready for New York."

Elliott, his broken stick just a few feet away, was taking the same approach after the game.

"You live to see another day," he said. "You can't put everything in one basket. You've got to look forward to the next game and look forward to that challenge."

SIXTH DEFENSEMAN

After rotating between defensemen Jordan Leopold and Ian Cole the last few games, the Blues stuck with Leopold for the second straight game Monday.

"He's taking advantage of the situation right now," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "(Cole) has got to wait his turn, and when it's his turn, he's got to jump forward. It's kind of like the tryouts are over. Whoever grabs the job gets to keep it. (Leopold) played very well last night, so he's got a chance to grab it."

JANSSEN RE-ASSIGNED

New Jersey forward and St. Louis native Cam Janssen was not in the lineup Tuesday for the Devils. He was placed on waivers Monday so that the club could make a roster spot for injured forward Damien Brunner. Janssen cleared waivers and was assigned to New Jersey's AHL affiliate in Albany.

BLUENOTES

Forward Vladimir Tarasenko missed his second straight game with the flu Tuesday. ... The Blues' healthy scratches Tuesday were Cole and Carlo Colaiacovo.

(c)2014 St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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