PHILADELPHIA — Just as they hoped they would,
Matt Puempel scored in his first game with the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves to help New York defeat the
"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
Stepan gave New York a 1-0 lead in the first period when he beat
"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
The first period featured a pair of fights and physical play that is typical of the rivalry.
Philadelphia's Travis Konecny took on
Hayes extended New York's lead to 3-0 in the second period after another bad Philadelphia turnover in its zone. Mark Streit sent the puck from behind the net to the blue line right on the stick of New York's
VandeVelde got the Flyers on the board early in the third period. MacDonald sent the puck in front and it caromed off VandeVelde's skate past Lundqvist. The play was reviewed but officials allowed the goal.
Gostisbehere's slap shot from the slot with 2:04 left made it 3-2. But Philadelphia couldn't get anything else past Lundqvist.
One of his best saves came midway through the second period when he used his mask to deny Claude Giroux from close range on a 2-on-1 break.
"He played an incredible game," Stepan said of Lundqvist.