McDiarmid Park may have escaped any damage from the Beast from the East but the Test from the West was much more destructive.
St Johnstone were on the end of a pretty comprehensive defeat, with the game as good as over at half-time.
Clinical Rangers had earned themselves a three-goal lead by the break from three shots on target, thanks to a James Tavernier penalty and strikes from Josh Windass and Sean Goss.
Three became four early in the second 45 after Alfredo Morelos found the net but to Saints’ credit they responded with Jason Kerr scoring his first for the club.
Hamilton Accies are up next and a win in that one will make the week a successful one and go a long way to ensuring they stay clear of the Premiership’s bottom two places.
With this game sandwiched between two against teams below them in the league, Tommy Wright freshened things up by making four changes to his starting line-up from the weekend.
An ill Scott Tanser was replaced by Aaron Comrie, while Matty Willock, George Williams and Liam Craig came in for David Wotherspoon, Chris Millar and Steven MacLean, who were all on the bench.
For Rangers, Andy Halliday made his first league start in nearly a year in an unfamiliar left-back role.
Saints have had to cope with more than their fair share of injuries in recent weeks and the last thing they needed was Murray Davidson going down twice within the first five minutes.
Both were collisions in midfield and, thankfully, both didn’t prove to be game-ending.
It was a messy start to the contest but the first decent attack from either side resulted in the opening goal for Rangers on 12 minutes.
Goss sent a long diagonal ball over a flat-footed Saints defence and when Morelos tried to go past Alan Mannus, he was brought down and referee Steven McLean pointed to the spot.
Tavernier sent the keeper the wrong way and tucked away the penalty, with the only good news for Saints being the yellow card he got rather than red.
Three minutes later Daniel Candeias had a good shooting opportunity on the edge of the box and Willock did well to get in a timely block at full stretch.
Jamie Murphy powered down the left and, with time and space to pick out a team-mate, cut the ball back for Morelos. The Columbian didn’t make a good connection with his first-time strike, however.
Rangers had this game under their control and they got their second goal of the night on 25 minutes when a tidy assist from Greg Docherty led to Windass firing home his 16th of an increasingly impressive season.
Saints weren’t getting many opportunities to work Wes Foderingham. One came on the half-hour when Craig was fouled by Halliday at the corner of the penalty area. Instead of shooting or crossing, Craig chose to roll the ball into the path of Blair Alston, whose effort was charged down.
This was the start of a better passage of play for the hosts and on 33 minutes Foderingham produced a finger-tip save to touch a Williams volley over the bar.
The on-loan Fulham winger had another go two minutes later when Foderingham dropped a Craig cross at his feet but this time it was well off target.
Just as things were looking up for Saints, they got hit by a sucker punch to go in at half-time three down.
Davidson tripped Murphy on the 18-yard line and Goss got his free-kick up and over the wall to give Mannus no chance.
Saints started the second half well and won back to back corners. From the second of those a Kerr header narrowly missed the far post.
For all their territorial improvement they were nearly punished by a swift Rangers counter-attack on 55 minutes, which was thwarted by Mannus rushing to the edge of his box.
Number four was just a minute away, though, with Morelos finishing a Tavernier cross from the tightest of angles.
Wotherspoon came on for Davidson on 58 minutes – probably with Saturday’s game against Hamilton in mind – and within seconds the substitute had two bites at the cherry in the Rangers box but couldn’t score from either.
Saints did find the net on 62 minutes when Kerr headed home a Craig corner at the back post.
Joe Shaughnessy’s long throws can be a potent attacking weapon for the Perth side and Steven Anderson was nearly able to guide one of them into the net 10 minutes later.
The three points had been secured by Rangers some time ago but this was an encouraging end to the match for Saints and Craig came close with a rare right foot 25-yarder on 82 minutes.
Neither team came close thereafter and 4-1 it finished.
St Johnstone – Mannus, Alston, Shaughnessy, Anderson, Davidson (Wotherspoon 58), Williams, Comrie, Kerr, Kane (Johnstone 63), Craig, Willock. Subs not used – Clark, Millar, MacLean, Gordon, Thomson.
Rangers – Foderingham, Tavernier, Windass, Halliday, Morelos, Candeias (Cummings 62), Bates, Goss, Murphy (Alves 78), Martin, Docherty. Subs not used – Alnwick, Miller, Hodson, Herrera, Holt.
Referee – Steven McLean.