Rangers win Yandle's debut 4-1, Zuccarello has two assists

By on March 3, 2015

New Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle makes his debut in blue in a 4-1 win over the Predators Monday night at the Garden.Adam Hunger/Adam Hunger for New York Daily N New Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle makes his debut in blue in a 4-1 win over the Predators Monday night at the Garden.

Hours later, the Blueshirts (39-17-6, 82 points) bounced back from Saturday night’s 4-2 loss in Philadelphia to smother the Predators (41-16-7, 89 points), limiting early shots on Cam Talbot. They got goals from Marc Staal, Chris Kreider and Dominic Moore, a late empty-netter from Rick Nash, and two assists apiece from Zuccarello and Derick Brassard.

Yandle’s Rangers debut was O.K., understandably up-and-down in his first Garden appearance wearing the blue. The power play managed some offensive zone time but only one shot on goal in two minutes with Yandle on ice the whole time. He moved the puck well from the back end early but couldn’t prevent Nashville’s lone goal by Matt Cullen in the second period.

Versatile depth forward Jimmy Sheppard wasn’t available, still traveling after his acquisition from San Jose on Sunday, but the Rangers’ crowd was thrilled to see Zuccarello available and contributing. Sather, after all, had put Zuccarello’s name on the trade market Sunday.

Effectively, the threat worked. The Norwegian forward took a significant discount from the $ 5 million-plus annual salary he had expected to make in free agency next summer. But would Sather really have traded Zuccarello?

“Well let’s say I put on the market that we’re gonna trade him,” Sather said. “Whether or not that would have ever happened is another story.”

Sather also was asked about the status of Henrik Lundqvist, who turned 33 years old on Monday, though he remains sidelined by a blood vessel injury and is skating on his own, his timetable unknown.

“I think we’re fine there. Henrik’s gonna be fine,” Sather said. We just need a little more time.”

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