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Sather Adds Head Coach to His Title

Ranger president and general manager takes on more responsibility, but team loses in his debut.

January 31, 2003|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Glen Sather left the New York Ranger bench wearing the same frustrated look as many of his predecessors.

Greg DeVries scored 2:29 into overtime to spoil Sather's debut as coach of the Rangers, giving the Colorado Avalanche a 4-3 victory Thursday night.

Sather, the Ranger president and general manager who took over for the fired Bryan Trottier on Thursday, saw his team rally from a two-goal deficit to take a third-period lead before falling in overtime for their fourth consecutive loss.

Alex Tanguay scored twice, including the tying goal with 4:18 left in regulation, and Peter Forsberg had a goal and two assists for the Avalanche, unbeaten in five games (3-0-2).

When DeVries scored the game-winner, Sather threw his hands up in disgust and tossed his chewing gum to the floor.

"We're going to get better," Sather said. "We can't take a night off. We have to play every game like that."

Sather is no stranger to coaching, although it has been nine years since he has been behind the bench. He won four Stanley Cups as coach of the Edmonton Oilers and added a fifth as GM.

Sather will need all the expertise that earned him 464 coaching victories and much-improved play from his team if he is to make good on his prediction Thursday that the Rangers will reach the playoffs for the first time since 1997.

"Glen is a leader, he always has been," said Ranger captain Mark Messier, who was a cornerstone of the Edmonton championship teams with Wayne Gretzky. "I know he feels responsible for the situation that we're in and he feels, perhaps, he can do something about it."

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