Rangers post 3-2 victory over Flyers
Just as they hoped they would, Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers bounced back from a dismal performance.
Matt Puempel scored in his first game with the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves to help New York defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on Friday.
Derek Stepan and Kevin Hayes also netted goals for the Rangers, who rebounded from Wednesday’s 6-1 home drubbing against Pittsburgh. Lundqvist was lifted after allowing four goals on seven shots in the second period of that one, but he responded with a strong performance against the Flyers to improve to 32-13-4 in his career against Philadelphia.
“You just regroup and everybody tried to hold everybody accountable to play their absolute best,” Lundqvist said. “When we don’t play that well, we want to come back with a better performance. That’s what we were looking for.
“It was a good game for us and a good game for me.”
Shayne Gostibehere and Chris VandeVelde scored in the third period for Philadelphia, which threatened throughout the final period. The Flyers opened a three-game homestand with a third loss in the last four games.
Stepan gave New York a 1-0 lead in the first period when he beat Steve Mason with a wrist shot from the slot. J.T. Miller set up the goal with an assist from behind the net after a turnover by Philadelphia’s Scott Laughton, playing in his second game since being recalled from Lehigh Valley of the AHL.
“You’re not going to have your ‘A’ stuff every night, and the next game is so important,” Stepan said.
Stepan has 28 points (nine goals, 19 assists) in 30 career games vs. Philadelphia.
Puempel, claimed off waivers from Ottawa on Monday, gave the Rangers a 2-0 advantage 1:34 later with his first goal of the season.
“Good for the kid,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “It’s got to help his confidence and it was without a doubt helpful for our team.”
A 2011 first-round pick of the Senators, Puempel went without a point in 13 games with Ottawa this season and had just four goals and two assists in 52 career games. But he showed a deft scoring touch when he skated past Philadelphia’s Andrew MacDonald, settled a bouncing backhand pass from Jimmy Vesey and buried the puck past Mason from close range.
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, makes a save against Philadelphia Flyers’ Dale Weise (22) during the second period of Friday’s game in Philadelphia.