PHI
47-26-9
PIT
51-25-6

Flyers 6, Penguins 4

Associated Press | Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 5:15 AM

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Philadelphia Flyers sent a message with their resiliency. The Pittsburgh Penguins sent one with their fists.

Message received on both sides.

And to think the playoffs don't start for another 10 days.

Jakub Voracek scored twice in the third period to break open a tight game and lift the Flyers to a 6-4 victory on Sunday to climb within a point of Pittsburgh for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Whoever wins the fourth spot gets home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

The Flyers are 5-0 at Consol Energy Center since it opened in October, 2010 and after getting pushed around yet again by their archrivals, the Penguins appear to have had enough.

Just as notable as Philadelphia's spirited rally from yet another two-goal deficit was the extended brawl with just over a minute to play that left the coaches of both teams screaming at each other across the glass.

Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette called out Pittsburgh counterpart Dan Bylsma for sending out his checking line shortly after Voracek's empty-net goal pushed the lead to 6-3.

Penguins forward Joe Vitale leveled Daniel Briere shortly after the ensuing faceoff, starting a chain of events that included Laviolette smashing a stick over the glass and all 10 players on the ice going at it.

"Those guys hadn't been out there in 12 minutes," Laviolette said. "It's a gutless move by their coach. It's gutless."

Bylsma didn't quite see it that way, claiming Vitale's shot on Briere was clean, unlike the crosscheck Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby received from Brayden Schenn shortly after Steve Sullivan's second goal of the game pulled the Penguins within 5-3 late in the third period.

"It's clearly a cheap shot," Bylsma said. "It's clearly a guy targeting a player that was well after the whistle."

Crosby, who has missed all but 19 games this season due to concussion-like symptoms, agreed.

"It's pretty cheap," Crosby said. "He skates 10 feet in between the whistle. I don't know. If that's a sign of what's to come it's going to be a pretty tough playoff series."

One that won't even start until the teams meet again in the regular-season finale next Saturday.

Pittsburgh appeared on the verge of chasing down the New York Rangers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference a week ago.

Instead the Penguins have dropped three of four and lead the Flyers by the slimmest of margins with three games left.

Wayne Simmonds, Claude Giroux, Max Talbot and Marc-Andre Bourdon also scored for Philadelphia while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 43 shots as the Flyers erased a 2-0 deficit against Pittsburgh for the second time in two weeks. Philadelphia got a point with an overtime victory on March 18.

No such dramatics were necessary this time. The Flyers dominated the final 20 minutes, beating Marc-Andre Fleury three times before Voracek's empty-netter to deny Fleury in his bid to tie Tom Barrasso's franchise mark of 226 career victories.

Giroux just smiled when asked if the Flyers were in the Penguins' heads after another emotional comeback.

"I hope we are because we're going to play them in the playoffs," he said. "I think it's important for us to be sure that they know it's going to be a tough one and it should be pretty fun."

And pretty physical, too.

The victory was an exclamation point for the Flyers, who have struggled during daytime games this season. Philadelphia came in with a 4-8-2 record when the puck is dropped before 3 p.m. local time.

Those numbers include a 4-3 shootout loss to the Senators on Saturday in which the Flyers fell behind 3-0 in the first period.

A day later, Philadelphia was no sharper.

The Penguins raced to a 2-0 lead in the first 5 minutes. Steve Sullivan scored his 16th of the season on a knuckled one-timer that deflected off a Philadelphia player and over Bobrovsky into the net.

There was no fortunate bounce necessary on Pittsburgh's next score. James Neal collected his 39th on the season by parking himself on the doorstep then wristing a shot over Bobrovsky's right shoulder thanks to a slick pass from Evgeni Malkin.

Yet just like Saturday, the Flyers rallied.

And unlike Saturday, this time they came all the way back thanks in part to an early timeout in which Laviolette reminded his players it was time to get going.

"You get that 2-0 lead for them they might think it's going to be a cakewalk or going to be an easy game," Philadelphia's Scott Hartnell said. "On the flip side, we get (ticked) off and play with an edge."

Giroux gave Philadelphia life late in the first when his shot from the point squirted between Fleury's pads. Hartnell didn't receive an assist on the play, but he barreled into Fleury, obstructing the goaltender's view.

Talbot tied it at 2 early in the second period. The former Pittsburgh star - a key cog in the franchise's 2009 Stanley Cup - deflected a shot past Fleury and the ensuing boos indicated not all of Pittsburgh's vitriol is saved for Jaromir Jagr alone.

Simmonds - who scored on Saturday when a puck smashed off his face into the net - gave the Flyers their first lead in a more conventional fashion when he tapped in a pass from Voracek past Fleury 2:35 into the third period.

Voracek pushed the lead to 4-2 on a nifty backhand. When Bourdon's slap shot from the point deflected off Pittsburgh defender Zbynek Michalek the Flyers had things well in hand.

NOTES: Philadelphia D Nicklas Grossman went to the dressing room with a lower body injury during a first-period collision with Pittsburgh's Joe Vitale and did not return ... Malkin finished with two points and has 104 on the season, tops in the NHL. ... The Penguins play in Boston on Tuesday while the Flyers host the Rangers. ... Pittsburgh's Pascal Dupuis recorded the second assist on Sullivan's goal to extend his points streak to 14 games, the longest in the NHL this season. ... The Penguins are 6-4-1 since Crosby returned from concussion-like symptoms on March 15.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
01:14PIT Steve Sullivan (16) ASST: Sidney Crosby (25), Pascal Dupuis (31) 1 - 0 PIT
04:58PIT James Neal (39) ASST: Evgeni Malkin (55), Chris Kunitz (32) 2 - 0 PIT
15:09PHI Claude Giroux (28) ASST: Jaromir Jagr (35), Scott Hartnell (30) 2 - 1 PIT
2nd Period
01:25PHI Maxime Talbot (19) ASST: Zac Rinaldo (7), Sean Couturier (14) 2 - 2 Tie
3rd Period
02:35PHI PPG - Wayne Simmonds (27) ASST: Jakub Voracek (29), Claude Giroux (60) 3 - 2 PHI
06:37PHI Jakub Voracek (16) ASST: Eric Wellwood (4), Braydon Coburn (19) 4 - 2 PHI
13:15PHI Marc-Andre Bourdon (3) ASST: Claude Giroux (61) 5 - 2 PHI
15:18PIT Steve Sullivan (17) ASST: Pascal Dupuis (32), Zbynek Michalek (10) 5 - 3 PHI
18:45PHI EN - Jakub Voracek (17) ASST: Matthew Carle (34), Maxime Talbot (14) 6 - 3 PHI
19:28PIT PPG - Chris Kunitz (24) ASST: Evgeni Malkin (56), Sidney Crosby (26) 6 - 4 PHI
Three Stars of the Game
Jakub Voracek
1st
Jakub Voracek
G: 2Shots: 4
A: 1Hits: 1
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 13:40
Claude Giroux
2nd
Claude Giroux
G: 1Shots: 1
A: 2Hits: 1
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 19:10
Steve Sullivan
3rd
Steve Sullivan
LW
G: 2Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 0TOI: 14:26
Penalty Summary
1st Period
06:58PHI Daniel Briere  Interference against  Joe Vitale
16:36PIT Matt Niskanen  Holding against  Maxime Talbot
2nd Period
14:20PHI Marc-Andre Bourdon  Hooking against  James Neal
14:30PIT Steve Sullivan  Tripping against  Claude Giroux
16:17PHI Daniel Briere  Too many men/ice - bench
19:42PHI Eric Wellwood  Hooking against  Brooks Orpik
3rd Period
01:12PIT Chris Kunitz  Interference against  Marc-Andre Bourdon
09:09PIT Matt Cooke  Slashing against  Daniel Briere
18:57PIT Paul Martin  Delay of game - bench
18:57PHI Jakub Voracek  Delay of game - bench
18:57PIT Arron Asham  Misconduct (10 min)
18:57PHI Zac Rinaldo  Misconduct (10 min) against  Arron Asham
18:57PHI Brayden Schenn  Roughing against  Matt Niskanen
18:57PIT Joe Vitale  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Daniel Briere
18:57PHI Daniel Briere  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Joe Vitale
18:57PIT Craig Adams  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Marc-Andre Bourdon
18:57PHI Marc-Andre Bourdon  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Craig Adams
18:57PIT Arron Asham  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Pavel Kubina
18:57PHI Pavel Kubina  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Arron Asham
18:57PIT Deryk Engelland  Fighting (maj) against  Wayne Simmonds
18:57PHI Wayne Simmonds  Fighting (maj) against  Deryk Engelland
18:57PHI Brayden Schenn  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Matt Niskanen
18:57PIT Matt Niskanen  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Marc-Andre Bourdon
shots by period
PeriodPHIPIT
1st815
2nd615
3rd1217
Total2647
Team Stats
CategoryPHIPIT
Power Plays1/31/5
Hits2741
Faceoff Wins3336
Giveaways312
Takeaways44
Blocked Shots1711
Penalty Minutes3533
  • PHILADELPHIA
  • PITTSBURGH
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
5B. CoburnD0140027:50
8N. GrossmannD000003:58
10B. SchennC00-21411:43
13P. KubinaD00-11217:45
14S. CouturierC0121018:05
17W. SimmondsR10-23513:24
19S. HartnellL0112015:53
24M. ReadR0011015:09
25M. CarleD0111026:54
27M. TalbotC1123018:02
28C. GirouxC1201019:10
36Z. RinaldoC01101012:54
43M. BourdonD1012418:57
44K. TimonenD00-11020:31
47E. WellwoodL011229:27
48D. BriereC00-11413:37
68J. JagrR0112014:30
93J. VoracekR2124013:40
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
35S. Bobrovsky4347.91560:00
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
2M. NiskanenD00-11413:38
4Z. MichalekD01-14018:24
5D. EngellandD00-1259:50
7P. MartinD0012020:58
9P. DupuisR0212016:17
11J. StaalC00-11017:47
14C. KunitzL11-15219:18
18J. NealL10-17018:39
24M. CookeL00-11216:00
26S. SullivanL2004214:26
27C. AdamsR00-1129:49
44B. OrpikD00-10020:02
45A. AshamR00-22124:59
46J. VitaleC00-1027:41
48T. KennedyR0004012:36
58K. LetangD0002027:58
71E. MalkinC02-12022:23
87S. CrosbyC0207022:12
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
29M. Fleury2025.80059:40