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game recap

Zibanejad scores six points, Rangers cruise past Flyers

Gets natural hat trick, three assists in second straight game against Philadelphia

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Zibanejad's six-point outburst

NYR@PHI: Zibanejad's hatty, three assists fuel rout

Mika Zibanejad becomes the first player in NHL history to record six points in consecutive games against one opponent in the Rangers' 8-3 win

  • 02:46 •

PHILADELPHIA -- Mika Zibanejad set an NHL record with six points in consecutive games against the same opponent in the New York Rangers' 8-3 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday.

The forward had a natural hat trick and three assists. Each of his three goals was on a power play.

Zibanejad also had three goals and three assists in New York's 9-0 win against Philadelphia on March 17.

"The puck seems to go in right now, obviously," he said. "It's nice to be able to contribute offensively for the team, especially since (struggling) the start and the first part of the season. It's obviously a great feeling when you win and you can contribute."

Adam Fox had five assists, Ryan Strome had a goal and three assists, and Pavel Buchnevich scored two goals for the Rangers (15-13-4), who have won three games in a row. Igor Shesterkin made 41 saves in his return after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury.

Video: NYR@PHI: Kreider, Buchnevich team up to double lead

Kevin Hayes and Sean Couturier each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers (15-13-4), who have lost four games in a row. Brian Elliott made eight saves after replacing Carter Hart, who was pulled 2:06 into the second period after allowing five goals on 11 shots.

Philadelphia is 4-9-1 in March, allowing 4.64 goals per game, last in the NHL.

"Right now, the team has really lost its identity," Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said. "From where we were at the beginning of the year to where we are now, it [stinks]. We've got to find something here because we're too good of a team to let it squander away."

The teams will play again here Saturday.

Strome gave New York a 1-0 lead at 8:01 of the first period, and Buchnevich finished a 2-on-1 rush to make it 2-0 at 8:53.

Zibanejad made it 3-0 at 13:36 when he tipped Fox's shot.

Video: NYR@PHI: Zibanejad records hat trick on power play

Zibanejad put the Rangers ahead 4-0 54 seconds into the second period, and he completed the hat trick with a one-timer from the high slot off a pass from Strome to make it 5-0 at 2:06. Elliott replaced Hart after the goal.

New York was 3-for-5 on the power play; Philadelphia was 2-for-3.

In the past five games, Zibanejad has scored 15 points (seven goals, eight assists), 12 of them in the two games against the Flyers. He scored 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in the first 27 games.

"I don't know if self-doubt is the right word, but definitely it was a struggle for me to get the puck into the net," he said. "But I tried to stick by the work and just trust myself that it's going to come."

K'Andre Miller scored on the Rangers' first shot against Elliott to make it 6-0 at 2:42.

Claude Giroux made it 6-1 at 3:46, and Hayes scored on the power play to make it 6-2 at 13:34.

Buchnevich scored shorthanded 33 seconds into the third period to make it 7-2.

Fox got his fifth assist on the goal, tying a Rangers record and becoming the second defenseman with five in one game (Brian Leetch, April 18, 1995, against Pittsburgh Penguins).

"A lot of plays that look like they're going to be dead plays, doesn't have a play, and that's where a player makes a safe play, chips it out or whatever it might be, but it doesn't seem that's the case with him," Rangers acting coach Kris Knoblauch said. "He's always able to make that next play. Some guys can do it occasionally; 'Foxy,' it seems he can do it all the time."

Couturier scored a power-play goal at 1:28 to make it 7-3.

Filip Chytil made it 8-3 at 18:02.

"We're going to get an opportunity tomorrow to have our first practice in 12 days and we're going to get back to work," Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said.

NOTES: Zibanejad is the third NHL player to score six points against the same team in one season, joining Doug Bentley for the Chicago Black Hawks against the Rangers in 1942-43 and Joe Malone for the Quebec Athletic Club against the Toronto St. Patricks in 1919-20. He also is the third player in NHL history with two natural hat tricks against the same opponent in one season (Thomas Vanek for the Buffalo Sabres against the Tampa Bay Lightning, 2007-08; Peter Bondra for the Washington Capitals against the New York Islanders, 1995-96). ... Strome extended his point streak to seven games (two goals, 10 assists), and Fox extended his point and assist streaks to five games (one goal, 10 assists). ... Hart has allowed at least three goals in 15 of 20 starts, including seven straight, after he allowed at least three goals 15 times in 40 starts last season.

Video: Zibanejad's historic night powers' Rangers' 8-3 rout

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