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Mats Zuccarello penalized for covering puck with his hand

Mats Zuccarello skates during a game against the

Mats Zuccarello skates during a game against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Credit: Getty, 2011

On Ryan Callahan's short-handed goal, Mats Zuccarello recorded his first assist since signing a contract to return to the Rangers on Thursday. Now he needs to check the rulebook.

"I didn't know about it," Zuccarello said Monday night after he was sent off for his third minor penalty in the second period, at 17:14, for covering the puck with his hand, a rule added since the lockout. He questioned the officials, to no avail.

But Zuccarello was absolved by coach John Tortorella.

"No one told him," Tortorella said. "We're dying on the vine, I'm not going to go running to Zuke: 'Remember, you can't put your hand on the puck.' ''


Young men, sit down

It was hardly an impactful game for the rookies. J.T. Miller and Chris Kreider rode the bench in the third period. Miller, who was on ice for both first-period goals by the Jets, played 7:08 total and only two shifts in the second. Kreider played 3:23 and one shift in the second.

"Do I trust 'em?'' Tortorella said of the rookies. "I am worried. The stakes are very high right now.''


Blue notes

In addition to Callahan's four points, he was credited with four hits and had a plus-four rating in 23:45 . . . Dan Girardi blocked five shots and logged a team-high 29:15 . . . Darroll Powe dressed for the first time in four games and played 4:48 on the power play . . . The Rangers, who are 5-2-1 in the last eight home games, outshot the Jets 28-17 in the final 40 minutes . . . London Knights (OHL) defenseman Tommy Hughes, 20, who has one goal and 15 assists in 67 games this season, agreed to a contract. He'll finish the season there, then head to the AHL's Connecticut Whale.

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