The Flyers entered this game looking for their fourth and final win to close out this series and move onto round 2 of the playoffs. The Penguins entered this game trying to win to stave off elimination, battle back into this series, and postpone handshakes.
For the first time in this playoff series of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals, the Philadelphia Flyers were able to score the first goal. Forward Claude Giroux put a wrist shot on the power play behind Pittsburgh’s goaltender Marc-André Fleury at just the 1:16 mark in the first period.
Shortly after at the 3:37 mark, Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin responded to tie the game with an even strength goal. Pittsburgh defenseman Matt Niskanen gave his team the lead at the 8:05 mark when he also scored against Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. The Flyers now found themselves in a familiar territory, as they were down in the first period of the game like the previous games in the series and would have to try to battle back. They did with another power play goal, this time by Philadelphia defenseman Kimmo Timonen at the 15:06 mark in the first period. Just 46 seconds later, the Flyers would again take the lead in the game with another power play goal, this time by right winger Jakub Voráček.
Unfortunately, this would be the end of the scoring for the Flyers in this game. The Penguins would tie the game again just 27 seconds later at the 16:19 mark in the first period with an even strength goal from their star center Sidney Crosby. Pittsburgh center Jordan Staal would reclaim the lead for his team just over a minute later at the 17:29 mark with a wrist shot goal. The first period ended still in reach for the Flyers, as they entered their dressing room down 4-3.
The second period began, and the Penguins were not finished sending a message that they were still fighting to stay in the playoffs. At 3:07, Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang scored a power play goal to increase their lead. Flyers goaltender Bryzgalov was replaced by backup Sergei Bobrovsky. Philadelphia head coach Peter Laviolette also tried to use his only timeout in the game in an effort to get his players to battle back. Neither of these moves seemed to work, as the Flyers would continue to give up goals. At the 7:21 mark in the second period, Staal scored his second goal of the night for the Penguins, this time on a power play and against Bobrovsky in net for Philadelphia. Penguins left winger Steve Sullivan added another power play goal for his team at the 10:55 mark of the second period, as the Flyers continued to play undisciplined taking several consecutive penalties. Forward Pascal Dupuis piled on another goal for the Penguins at the 14:59 mark, now giving his team a comfortable lead of 8-4 over the Flyers. This score was familiar to fans that watched game 3, but this is not where the scoring would end here in game 4. At 16:03 in the second, Staal completed a hat trick for the evening with another even strength goal against Bobrovsky.
At the 4:04 mark in the third period, Malkin added his second goal of the evening for the Penguins. The game would close with a lopsided score of 10-3, after the Penguins had scored 8 unanswered goals throughout the game. This high scoring game helped the Penguins and Flyers make unique history, as they now have the NHL playoff record for the most goals scored in a series in the first four games, with a total of 45 goals between both teams. The officials called this game close to avoid any chaos that was seen in game 3, and the game ended with a total of 100 penalties in minutes: 36 to Pittsburgh and 64 to Philadelphia. Despite the win for the Penguins, the Flyers still control the lead in this best of seven playoff series 3 games to 1. The Penguins will host Philadelphia for game 5 on Friday, April 20, 2012 at 7:30 PM Eastern Standard Time at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA.