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Despite no goals, Martin St. Louis is staying positive

Martin St. Louis skates with the puck in

Martin St. Louis skates with the puck in the first period of a game against the San Jose Sharks at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Credit: Jim McIsaac

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Seven games into his Rangers tenure, veteran right wing Martin St. Louis still is trying to right himself.

St. Louis hasn't found the back of the net yet since the March 5 trade that sent Ryan Callahan and two draft picks to Tampa Bay.

But the 38-year-old has refused to get down on himself.

"We've got to stay positive," he said after practice Monday before the Rangers flew to Ottawa to start a three-game road swing Tuesday night. "If I didn't feel good out there, I would be disappointed. I feel great out there. Obviously, I would love to have more production.

"Somehow you find some production . . . Am I playing great? No. I've played way worse than this."

When St. Louis arrived, there were big expectations, considering he had averaged nearly a point a game, scoring 29 goals and assisting on 32 in 62 games for Tampa Bay. He also has accumulated 369 career goals and 975 points. He has two assists since joining the Rangers.

"Yeah, of course there's pressure," he said. "There's no bigger pressure than the pressure I put on myself. I knew it was going to be hard. There's no time to feel sorry. You've got to man up and be a big boy about it and go to work every day . . . You're trying to find some consistency in your play, in your production. Every game I've felt great . . . I'm going to keep plugging."

St. Louis said there has been an adjustment period after playing 13-plus seasons with the Lightning.

He said he had "been in one place for so long and been used to a lot of players. They read and react a little better off me and the same for me. I come on to a team, I've got 20 new teammates. They've seen me play and they've played against me, but it's a lot different feel playing together. That takes time."

Coach Alain Vigneault believes the former Hart Trophy winner will find his form.

"Marty's a real intense, real emotional person," he said. "He's working his way, he's finding his way."

Notes & quotes:Forward Ryan Haggerty, the RPI junior who signed last week, practiced with his new team for the first time. Asked why he decided to go pro, the Stamford, Conn., native replied: "I just felt strong about where my game has been, talking to my agent, talking to my coach. They agreed it was ready to move on. When you grow up as a little kid playing in your driveway, you want to be a Ranger. I had that opportunity to take it." . . . Defenseman Ryan Graves, 18, selected in the fourth round (110th overall) in the 2013 entry draft, signed with the team. He has five goals and 22 points for the Charlottetown Islanders and Val-d'Or Foreurs (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League).

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