New Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein steady in his debut

Kevin Klein looks on against the St. Louis Kevin Klein looks on against the St. Louis Blues in the second period at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. Photo Credit: Newsday / Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

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Defenseman Kevin Klein, obtained in exchange for Michael Del Zotto, made his Rangers debut after arriving from Nashville and had two blocked shots, one hit and one shot in 15:46.

It was what Alain Vigneault expected. "Safe and dependable," he said. Klein played mostly on the third pairing with John Moore but also took shifts with Marc Staal and Anton Stralman.

Before the game, Klein described himself as "more of a shut-down guy than offensive guy . . . Make the first pass, play physical, chip in when I can."

He recalled playing at Madison Square Garden about three times. Said Klein, "There's so much history in this building, there's going to be a little bit of nerves . . . I'll fit myself in where I can."

Coming to New York, he said, is "a change for sure; it's not too congested in Nashville, not too many high-rises, but this is a great hockey market. It's going to take a little getting used to. I'm looking forward to the challenge."

A righthander who has 92 blocked shots, Klein provides balance on a team that had four lefties before the trade. "It's going to give the D-corps a much better look," Vigneault said. "It's going to help Johnny Moore," who had been playing the right side. "[Moore's] more comfortable on the left."

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Blue notes

Henrik Lundqvist has allowed two or fewer goals in his last seven games but is 5-2 . . . Staal questioned the penalty against Rick Nash that led to the winning goal. "It was a tough slashing call that ends up in the back of our net," he said . . . The Rangers are 12-13-3 at home . . . Ryan McDonagh led the Rangers in ice time with 23:40 . . . The team is off Friday and will practice at Yankee Stadium Saturday afternoon.

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