For the free-falling Flyers, it was a bad rerun Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Eight nights earlier, the Flyers endured the Massacre at Madison Square Garden, where they suffered a nightmarish 9-0 loss to the New York Rangers.

In the rematch, it was more of the same: Blown defensive assignments, shoddy goaltending, lousy special teams.

Rangers 8, Flyers 3.

The Rangers built a 6-0 lead in the opening minutes of the second period en route to giving the Flyers a four-game losing streak for the first time since midway through last season.

Stop the season, the Flyers want to get off.

“This team has really lost its identity from where we were at the beginning of the year to where we are now,” defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said. “We’re too good of a team to let it squander away.”

The Flyers (15-13-4) have lost five of their last six games, a spiral that started with that blowout to the Rangers, and they fell into a tie for fifth place with New York in the East Division.

Remarkably, center Mika Zibanejad had a natural hat trick (three consecutive goals) and six points for the second straight game against the Flyers. In last week’s mismatch, he had six points in one period to tie an NHL record.

Defenseman Adam Fox (5 assists) and Ryan Strome (4 points) also keyed the romp.

Carter Hart, again betrayed by his suspect defense, continued his disastrous March as he allowed five goals on 11 shots before being removed early in the second period.

The teams meet again Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.

Gostisbehere said poor play by the defense is leaving the goalies hung out to dry and “look like absolute bleep, and it’s not fair.”

“Everybody has to look themselves in the mirror and do their job,” captain Claude Giroux said. “... It’s a tough stretch right now. I’m a strong believer if we get one win, we’re going to get a a few in a row.”

The first period looked like a replay of that St. Patty’s Day embarrassment, which was the worst shutout road loss in the Flyers’ history. The Rangers scored three goals on their first six shots; down the other end, Igor Shesterkin, who had been sidelined since March 4 because of a groin injury, made quality stops on Nolan Patrick (minus-4) and Giroux.

While Hart got little defensive support, he failed to make a clutch save – like Shesterkin – when it could have created momentum for his floundering team. It’s been a recurring theme.

On New York’s first goal, Artemi Panarin threaded a pass between Ivan Provorov (eight shots; minus-3) and Jake Voracek (minus-4), and Strome had a tap in. Fifty-two seconds later, Pavel Buchnevich finished a two-on-one one-timer. Zibanejad deflected home Fox’s power-play shot to make it 3-0 with 6:24 to go in the first.

That gave the Blueshirts three goals in a 5:35 span. They then scored three goals in the first 2:42 of the second period to make it 6-0. At that point, they were 3-for-3 on the power play.

“Every time we give up one goal, we’re kind of falling apart,” said Oskar Lindblom, who revealed his scan Wednesday showed he was cancer free.

The Flyers have allowed 64 goals during a 4-9-1 March. That computes to 4.6 goals per game.

Brian Elliott relieved Hart and allowed the sixth goal, at which point the Rangers had outscored the Flyers, 15-0, over the last four-plus periods.

Repeat: 15-0 over four-plus periods.

You’d be hard-pressed to find such domination in a men’s beer league, let alone the NHL.

More oddness: The Flyers lost by five goals and outshot the Rangers, 44-22.

Just like eight nights ago, Zibanejad scored a natural hat trick -- the last goal of the first period, the first two of the second. He had five points in the first 22:42.

“It’s easy to point fingers, but it’s our whole team game that needs to be better,” Kevin Hayes said before the game. “It’s a full team effort. You win together, you lose together. We’re having problems as a team right now and we need to battle our way out of it. It sucks. No one in this organization wants to lose. Everyone wants to win for each other and our fans.”

“You have to approach every day like it’s a new day,” Elliott said. “This season, everything is coming at us in a hurry and we have to flip the switch and focus on the positive stuff.”

Coach Alain Vigneault hopes having a practice Friday for the first time in 12 days will help iron out some problems. He changed all four lines and all three pairings at the start of the game. The latest defensive pairings: Provorov and Justin Braun; Travis Sanheim and Phil Myers; and Samuel Morin and Gostisbehere.

Morin pounded Brendan Lemieux in a late fight, and he played well in his first NHL game this season on defense; he had played four games as a left winger.