Rangers players celebrate Mika Zibanejad's goal against the Devils during...

Rangers players celebrate Mika Zibanejad's goal against the Devils during the first period of an NHL game in Newark, N.J., on Thursday. Credit: AP/Peter K. Afriyie

NEWARK — The NHL playoffs are still about two months away, but the Rangers look ready for them to start right now.

The Rangers rolled to a 5-1 win over the Devils at Prudential Center on Thursday night. They punished their rivals physically and stifled the New Jersey power play all night to extend their win streak to nine games, one short of the franchise record.

The Rangers last won nine in a row during the 2015-16 season. The Blueshirts will try to make it 10 straight on Saturday in Philadelphia.

The victory allowed the Blueshirts to maintain their six-point lead atop the Metropolitan Division over Carolina.

Goaltender Igor Shesterkin made 39 saves — his bid for his second shutout of the season was spoiled by Jack Hughes’ otherwise meaningless goal with 2:07 remaining — and the Rangers’ penalty killers snuffed out five Devils power plays, including a five-minute major and a four-minute double-minor.

Shesterkin, who has stopped 80 of 82 shots in the last two games, has won five straight starts.

Alexis Lafreniere had two goals, and Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider and Vincent Trocheck had the other goals to provide the necessary offense.

“The penalty kill was outstanding tonight,’’ said Rangers coach Peter Laviolette, whose team improved to 38-16-3. “They [allowed] shots from the outside, but suppressed a lot of things that maybe might be dangerous into the interior, against a real skilled group.’’

The penalty killers were put to work early, forced to kill a five-minute power play when rookie Matt Rempe was given a match penalty for checking Devils forward Nathan Bastian in the head just 2:25 in the game. The Devils managed five shots on goal with the man advantage, but none was terribly threatening for Shesterkin. That set the tone for the game early.

“I think we really never let them get set, and I think, just in general, especially after the first five-minute kill there, I think we get confidence in our kill and the way we were pressuring, the way we were taking time and space away,’’ said Zibanejad, one of the five penalty-killing forwards. “And that kept going in the other kills that we had.’’

“Our PK has kind of slipped the last couple games, and we talked about that and wanted to do a good job tonight,’’ Jacob Trouba, one of the four penalty-killing defensemen, said. “I thought we answered, and kind of put more details into it, and then a little more attention on how we want to kill penalties.’’

Less than two minutes after the Rangers killed the major, they got their first power play when Curtis Lazar was called for slashing the glove of Shesterkin. Zibanejad scored five seconds into the power play, at 9:14, to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.

The Rangers were outshot all night — by 16-9 in the first period, and by 40-18 in the game — but after they killed the major, they seemed in control the rest of the way.

They increased their lead to 2-0 on Lafreniere’s first goal, which came at 17:56, while the teams were skating four-on-four. Lafreniere had lost a faceoff in the Devils’ zone but as defenseman Luke Hughes retrieved the puck and skated it out of the corner, Jonny Brodzinski chopped at his stick, causing Hughes to turn the puck over to Lafreniere, all alone in the low slot.

The second period featured a parade to the penalty boxes by both teams, but the Rangers’ penalty kill faced another huge challenge when Kaapo Kakko was given a double-minor at 11:08 for a high stick that cut Devils defenseman Simon Nemec.

The Rangers were ahead 3-0 at the time, courtesy of a two-on-one finish by Chris Kreider for his 29th goal of the season at 9:53 off a pass from Artemi Panarin (three assists). Lafreniere made it 4-0 with his second goal, with 39.2 seconds left in the period, when he took a pass from Trocheck, danced his way up the middle of the slot, and chipped the puck over Devils goalie Nico Daws’ left shoulder for his 16th goal of the season.

Trocheck made it 5-0 with his 20th goal of the season at 14:29 of the third period, before Hughes ended Shesterkin’s shutout bid.

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