PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Danny Briere, Matt Read and Max Talbot each scored two goals to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to an 8-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday in a fight-filled Game 3 in the opening-round series.
Wayne Simmonds and Claude Giroux also scored to help the Flyers take a 3-0 lead in the combustible best-of-seven series. Game 4 is Wednesday night in Philadelphia.
The goals might be hard to find on a highlight reel. This one was all about the brawls more suitable for a UFC card. Three players were tossed in the first period.
The Penguins and Flyers talked trash, laid the smack down, and played one wildly entertaining game. The result was still the same. The Flyers rallied from another early deficit to win and put them on the brink of a sweep.
Jordan Staal and James Neal scored twice for a Penguins team pushed to the limit by its hated, intrastate rivalry. Marc-Andre Fleury was benched after allowing six goals in two periods.
The Flyers played a postseason video that billed their run as the "Fight to the Cup." They never expected a first period that would have even left those old Broad Street Bullies with their mouths agape.
Each team had their top defenseman - Pittsburgh's Kris Letang and Philadelphia's Kimmo Timonen - tossed. So was Penguins forward Arron Asham.
Staal scored only 3:52 into the game to give the Penguins the first goal for the third straight game. It marked the 13th time out of the last 15 games the Flyers have trailed 1-0. At that point, the Flyers had been outscored 7-1 in the first period in this series.
The Flyers rallied from a 3-0 hole in Game 1, and deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 in Game 2.
They did it again. Talbot tapped a rebound toward Fleury that the Penguins goalie tried to stab at with his glove. The puck trickled by for the tying goal.
Briere scored consecutive goals off a 5-on-3 power play and a one-timer to leave Fleury reeling.
Neal scored the first of his two goals to make it 3-1. Read ended the period when he snagged the puck behind the net, skated around and buried it for a 4-2 lead.
Philadelphia's lead stood even as the 108-point Penguins attacked with their offense instead of their fists in the second period.
Neal and Read swapped goals to open the second. Staal knocked in a rebound to help the Penguins close to 5-4.
Simmonds, though, took a perfect entry pass from Braydon Coburn and backhanded in the fastbreak attempt for the insurance goal.
The Penguins were assessed with 46 penalty minutes, and the Flyers 34, through the first two periods.
Fleury was replaced by Brent Johnson to open the third. Giroux scored 27 seconds into the third on Philadelphia's first shot of the period.
Notes: The Flyers hold a 3-0 lead in a playoff series for the 11th time. ... Johnson made his third career postseason relief appearance for the Penguins. ... The Penguins have lost six straight playoff games.