Nikolay Zherdev is playing his way into a more prominent role for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Zherdev, playing against his former team for the second time this season, scored two goals and Brian Boucher stopped 24 shots to lead the Flyers to a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers on Saturday.
Andreas Nodl and Ville Leino also scored for the Flyers (21-13-1), who have won five straight and seven of eight. They lead the NHL with 49 points.
Boucher has won four of his past five starts and is 6-0-1 in his past seven with a 1.66 goals against average. The 33-year-old was in goal when the Flyers eliminated the Rangers on the final day of last season.
The Flyers, who ended New York’s three-game winning streak, also beat the Rangers on Nov. 4 by the same score — and Zherdev also scored in that meeting.
“We had too many turnovers and didn’t take care of the puck when we needed to,” New York’s Brandon Dubinsky said.
Zherdev scored Philadelphia’s first goal just after serving a two-minute penalty for cross-checking when center Mike Richards fed him a cross-ice pass as he returned from the box. Skating in alone, the former Ranger beat Henrik Lundqvist with a forehand-to-backhand shot to the glove side.
“I came out of the penalty and saw the pass coming to me and I just took off,” Zherdev said. “It was a great pass, and I went for it.”