Some missed opportunities, a couple hit posts, and poor play in the neutral zone led to one dejected locker room.
The Rangers fell 3 - 1 last night at Nassau Coliseum by being outworked by a younger, hungrier Islanders squad.
And the effort began early for the Islanders as Matt Moulson split Wade Redden and a rushing Matt Gilroy at the blueline for a breakaway goal less than a minute in.
Losing every loose puck battle, the Rangers could not sustain any pressure and seemed to be hanging on throughout much of the first period.
However, despite their lax play, they were able to tie the game on callup P.A. Parenteau's first NHL goal.
Parenteau lifted a backhand over goaltender Dwayne Roloson after a strong forechecking shift by himself and Brandon Dubinsky.
But that was where the offense ended as the Rangers couldn't muster more than a handful of shifts with good puck possession in the offensive zone. The Islanders, however, continued to pressure the puck and eventually wore the Rangers down.
A late hooking call to Sean Avery put the Islanders on the power play with about three minutes remaining in the second period.
The Rangers could not clear the zone or the slot as the Islanders crashed the net in old-style hockey fashion. It paid off as a bouncing puck averted Dan Girardi's stick and landed on the stick of Kyle Okposo.
But the Rangers were still close enough and the play of goalie Henrik Lundqvist let the Rangers stay competitive.
They were even afforded an early opportunity to get back in the game with a power play in the first minute of the third period. But the work ethic didn't carry through and the Rangers never put much pressure on Roloson.
In the last few minutes of the period, John Tavares outworked Michal Rozsival behind the Rangers net and slipped a puck through Lundqvist's five-hole to put the game out of reach.
The final shots on goal were 35 for the Rangers and 32 for the Islanders, but this stat is misleading as the Rangers didn't generate many quality scoring chances. Most shots were kept wide and outside as the Islanders defense was very responsible in their own end.
After the game, a very distraught Tortorella said the team is simply too easy to play against and they are not working the way they need to be working.
For post game quotes live from the Rangers locker room, check out Blueshirt Bulletin Plus this afternoon.
The Rangers head to Minnesota, the first time Gaborik could potentially face his former team.