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Associated Press
Dec 2, 2006, 12:00 AM EST

CHICAGO (AP) -St. Louis goalie Curtis Sanford crumpled in the crease in pain and had to be helped off the ice in the first period of the Blues' 5-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night.

Sanford, who missed three games in November with a strained groin, went down in the butterfly position to block Patrick Sharp's shot just 6:15 into the game. The puck sailed wide as Sanford dropped onto his stomach, clearly in plain, and flailed his right arm trying to shake the blocker off his hand.

Since St. Louis never gained possession of the puck, play was allowed to continue. Blackhawks forward Jeff Hamilton got to the rebound and tucked a shot into the unguarded net to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.

Sanford's injury wasn't immediately disclosed.

"I think it's a groin," Blues coach Mike Kitchen said after the game. "Is it significant? I think I would say so."

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