"failed to fetch from registry"
But it was json endpoint was at that url so it was not a problem with the endpoint.
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/12913141/installing-from-npm-fails had a command that helped
npm config set registry http://registry.npmjs.org/
Now it all worked.
Though this article may have been a better one to follow http://shashikantjagtap.net/using-zombie-js-driver-with-behats-minkextension/