Following the 5 - 3 loss to Atlanta, one thing was clear: the Rangers need to be disciplined.
Fighting the injury bug, New York exemplified a little rust and a lot of carelessness in their Thursday return to MSG.
The Rangers committed eight penalties in the game, including five in the first period.
Coming off a major West Coast road trip, the Rangers looked a little "stale" as Head Coach John Tortorella put it, something he acknowledged that every team goes through.
Less than a minute into the game, the Rangers' sluggishness was apparent. At 19 seconds, Evander Kane and Colby Armstrong skated through Mike Del Zotto and Michal Rozsival to crash the net and open the scoring.
"It's tough to start the game on a goal like that," said goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who played in his first start in eight days of rest."I felt a little off."
Despite being outplayed from the first goal on through the second period, the Rangers were within striking distance. Artem Anisimov tied the game a few minutes after the opening goal to give the Rangers some life, but in the end penalties continued to be the story, keeping the offensive guys off the ice and wearing down a young defense.
"We lacked discipline," said Vinny Prospal. "We beat ourselves down."
A step behind for most of the night, the Rangers couldn't finish. Even in the waning moments of the game with an opportunity to tie, shots were being avoided for the ill-advised pass.
The back-breaker, however, was Atlanta's fourth goal late in the second period. Having taken the lead a minute earlier, the Thrashers dumped the puck in where a miscommunication between Lundqvist and Rozsival caused a turnover on the boards.
Rozsival couldn't recover and Perverley found Kane wide open in the slot for the tip in goal.
"We were bad defensively," said Tortorella. "There was miscommunication between [Lundqvist] and [Rozsival]... it was the pivotal point of the game."
Penalties and poor defensive zone play lost this game for New York, who will try to remedy this in Ottawa this afternoon.
Following the game, the Rangers recalled P.A. Parenteau and re-assigned Dane Byers.
Gametime is 2 pm.