Ilkka Sinisalo and Bobby Clarke scored goals less than two minutes apart in the second period last night in Philadelphia to give the Flyers a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers.

The Flyers increased their first-place margin in the Patrick Division to 10 points over the New York Islanders.

The Flyers managed only five shots on goal in the second period, but accounted for a pair of goals to take a 2-0 lead. A shot by Darryl Sittler that was knocked down in front of the New York net glanced off the skate of Sinisalo for Philadelphia's first goal at 5:30.

Clarke scored his 17th of the season at 7:21 after a pass from Lindsay Carson deflected off defenseman Tom Laidlaw to Clarke. Clarke, standing five feet to the left of the Ranger goal, backhanded the puck over goalie Ed Mio.

The Rangers averted what would have been their second shutout at the hands of rookie goalie Bob Froese in the last eight days at 14:39 of the third period when Reijo Ruotsalainen fired a 40-footer past Froese.

But Bill Barber iced the game for the Flyers on an empty-net goal with 30 seconds left.

Froese, now 6-0 since being called up from Maine on Jan. 7, was looking for his third NHL shutout and second in two nights.