There was no superhero line to come to the rescue, so now the morbid narrative can return in full.

Behind a slew of errors and a severe exposure of their lack of depth, the Rangers lost last night for the third time in their first four games, this one to the Flyers, 2-1, at the sold-out Wells Fargo Center.

"Our top line simply didn't play well," coach John Tortorella said, one night after his star trio of Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards and Rick Nash carried them off the schneid in a 4-3 overtime win over the Bruins.

"So we had to change up then, but we still had an opportunity."

That opportunity came with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game, and the Rangers having just cut the Flyers' lead to 2-1. After a double-minor high-sticking call on Tye McGinn, followed by a hooking call on Nicklas Grossman, the Rangers had four full minutes of power-play time, starting with a two-minute 5-on-3.

The best chances they got — when they finally could corral the puck and enter the zone cleanly — came from close wrist shots by Derek Stepan and Rick Nash, both denied by Ilya Bryzgalov, whose 18 saves weren't outstanding until he was needed most.

"We're close, we just have to score a goal," said Stepan, who played as good a game as he has had all season, just missing another scoring chance early in the second period when Bryzgalov denied him on the doorstep.

"That's the biggest thing, you get those chances 5-on-3, you have to score. That's obviously the difference in the game."

Through the first period, the Rangers were being thoroughly outplayed and were able to get away unscathed because of Henrik Lundqvist's brilliance in making 11 of his 31 saves.

Tortorella was doing what he could to try and back up his top line, but as it was mostly contained by the Flyers' shutdown pair of Grossman and Braydon Coburn, the momentum created against the Bruins could not be replicated.