New York Rangers defeat Atlanta Thrashers, 5-2

ATLANTA - The first period Friday night was full of welcome sights for the Rangers, from Marian Gaborik celebrating to the power play clicking to perhaps the rarest sight of all: a desperate Ranger team smelling blood, and pouncing.

The Blueshirts feasted on Johan Hedberg and the Atlanta Thrashers to the tune of three goals in the game's first 13:26 - two of them on power plays - on their way to a much-needed 5-2 victory that halted their losing streak at four. Vinny Pr...

Go figure: For as lousy as the Rangers have been 4-on-4 this season - how's a 1-6 record in overtimes? - one of their better traits has been their play at 4-on-5. But even that penalty-killing corps has been wobbly at the knees at the wrong time of year.

Just like last season, the Rangers' penalty-killing outfit has been consistently among the top units in the league and has helped prop up a stumbling club fighting all winter for its playoff life. Over the past five wee...