PHILADELPHIA: Mika Zibanejad scored two goals, Chris Kreider added a goal and an assist and the New York Rangers skated to a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday afternoon.
Blake Wheeler chipped in a pair of assists for the Metropolitan Division-leading Rangers, who have won 12 of 14 contests. Igor Shesterkin made 36 saves for New York.
Rangers coach Peter Laviolette tied Dick Irvin for 10th-most career games coached with his 1,448th contest. Laviolette was the head coach for the Flyers in 272 games between 2009-14.
New York jumped on the Flyers early, scoring twice in the opening 1 minute, 53 seconds to take command.
Zibanejad netted the first of his two tallies 45 seconds into the game when he shot high over Carter Hart to finish a 2-on-1 with Wheeler. Just 22 seconds later, Kreider took advantage of a turnover by Philadelphia defenseman Travis Sanheim and shot past Hart for his team-leading 11th goal of the season. Sanheim was trying to pass to a teammate after the Flyers won a defensive zone faceoff, but his errant try went right to the stick of Kreider all alone in front of the net.
The Rangers went ahead 3-0 7:41 into the second period when Zibanejad finished another 2-on-1, this time poking the puck over Hart’s right shoulder after another setup from Wheeler.
Philadelphia got on the board with 2:21 left in the second when Couturier deflected home Nick Seeler’s shot from the point.