There were elements beyond sharpness absent from Rangers' game in last night's 3-1 opening defeat to the Bruins.

These missing ingredients were discipline and the elementary Black-and-Blueshirt mentality that has come to define the team the last two seasons and lacking in those categories should not particularly have been a function of the short run-up to the delayed start of the year.

"We were pretty loose in a number of ways, we were hesitating, and that didn't allow us to be as aggressive as we usually are and have to be," said Marc Staal, who had noted earlier the day it would be paramount for the Rangers to come out of the chute as a hard team to play against.

"Boston was better than us early on, and especially at their physical game. We have to figure it out as quickly as we can."

The statistic that best reflects the out-of-the ordinary for the Rangers: one blocked shot in the first period, two in the third and merely 10 overall.

"They're a tough team and they came out in their own building with good energy," said Brad Richards, who scored the Rangers' lone goal. "We didn't quite match that."

The Rangers may not have been able to either match Boston's energy or establish their own game because of a series of foolish penalties that they started on the first shift that left the club shorthanded seven times for 11:40.