At the 6:44 mark in the first, Flyers forward Max Talbot tied the game with a short-handed goal. About a minute and a half later at the 8:19 mark, Philadelphia forward Danny Brière scored a goal to give the Flyers the lead in the game. At the 11:45 mark, Brière added another goal putting a wrist-shot behind Penguins goaltender Marc-André Fleury. Pittsburgh’s left winger James Neal tallied a goal at the 15:17 mark in an effort to keep the Penguins in the game and to keep the game close. Unfortunately for the Penguins, Flyers forward rookie Matt Read would add another goal for the orange and black just 23 seconds later with less than a minute to play in the first period.
Though numerous goals would be scored in this game, there would also be numerous penalties which all began in the first period as well. A total of 18 penalties were issued in the first period alone. Among many other penalties, Flyers star forward Claude Giroux and Penguins star center Sidney Crosby got into a fight at the 12:02 mark. Immediately after this scuffle began, Flyers defenseman and veteran Kimmo Timonen and Penguins defenseman Kris Letang engaged in a fight which led to their ejection with a game misconduct. They were forced to leave the game because they were assessed a major fighting penalty after a fight had already began. The most notable series of penalties in the first period involved Philadelphia’s rookie forward Brayden Schenn and former Flyers right winger who now plays for the Penguins, Arron Asham. At the 14:15 mark in the first, Schenn was given a 2 minute minor penalty for charging. Immediately after this hit occurred, Asham crosschecked Schenn up high. As Schenn lay on the ice face down and motionless, Asham then proceeded to get a punch in on Schenn in the back of the head. Asham was issued a 5 minute match penalty. Asham will have a hearing with NHL disciplinarian regarding this incident on Tuesday, April 17th at 11 AM.
At the 10:31 mark in the second period, Pittsburgh’s Neal scored his second goal of the game to again try to rally his team back. The Flyers responded at the 14:18 mark with a second goal from Read. Staal scored his second goal of the game as well for the Penguins at the 15:40 mark. With just 46 seconds remaining in the second period, Flyers right winger Wayne Simmonds added another goal for his team. Second intermission began with the Flyers leading over the Penguins 6-4 in the game.
The third period began with a new goaltender for the Penguins. Fleury was replaced by backup Brent Johnson, and just 27 seconds in Philadelphia’s Giroux scored another goal for the Flyers on the first shot that Johnson faced to increase their lead to a nice three goal cushion. The Penguins would not score again in this game, but both teams would continue involvement in the extracurricular activities between the whistles. Flyers closed the scoring with a power play goal from Talbot, his second of the game, at the 17:14 mark of the third period.
Penguins James Neal had two dangerous incidents in the third period: charging against Giroux and later laying a late open ice hit on Flyers rookie forward Sean Couturier. There was no call on the ice for the latter. Neal will have two separate hearings for these two incidents with Shanahan on Tuesday, April 17th at 10 AM.
In addition to many other scrums and penalties, Penguins right winger Craig Adams instigated a fight with Scott Hartnell with less than five minutes left in the game. Adams came from behind while Hartnell was already tied up near the benches and started throwing punches. The two then engaged in a fight and each were given a 5 minute fighting major penalty. Though Hartnell was given an extra 2 minute minor penalty for roughing, Adams was given a game misconduct. Because of his actions and in accordance with NHL Rule 46.12, Adams has been suspended one game by the NHL. This rule states that a player cannot instigate a fight in the final five minutes of a game. In addition, the coaches are responsible for players who do not abide by this rule. Therefore, Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma has been issued a $10,000 fine for this incident as well.
The Flyers won the game by a decisive score of 8-4 in front of a rowdy sold out crowd of 20,092 fans at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, despite giving up the first goal yet again. Fans shouted loudly, “You can’t beat us!” 158 penalty minutes were distributed in total for the game: 89 to the Penguins and 69 to the Flyers.
The Flyers now lead the playoff series 3-0 and are looking for the fourth and final win to advance to the next round. They will host game 4 on Wednesday, April 18th at 7:30 PM at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.