Rangers post 3-2 vic­tory over Fly­ers

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Aaron Bracy

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.

DERIK HAMIL­TON — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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.

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