Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart in the third period, and the New York Rangers beat Philadelphia 4-1 in the playoff opener on Thursday night to stretch their home-winning streak over the rival Flyers to nine games.

Brad Richards of the New York Rangers celebrates his game winning goal at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Bruce Bennett, Getty Images)

The teams were locked in a 1-1 tie when Jason Akeson -- playing in just his third career NHL game -- was given a double high-sticking penalty for clipping Rangers forward Carl Hagelin with 7:35 remaining.

New York quickly took advantage.

Richards gave the Rangers their first lead of the night when a rebound of Martin St. Louis' shot came to him, and he fired it in from the right circle, punctuating the moment with an emphatic fist pump at 8:22.

Richards and St. Louis hooked up again to help set up Stepan's insurance goal. New York worked the puck around the Philadelphia end, and Richards faked a drive. He instead sent a hard pass to Stepan for a shot into the open left side.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)