The slugfest on the ice overshadowed the one on the scoreboard.
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.
"I thought the first two games in Pittsburgh were crazy," he said. "This one was even wilder."
Neal scored the first of his two goals to make it 3-2. Read ended the period when he snagged the puck behind the net, skated around and buried it for a 4-2 lead.
Crosby and Bryzgalov jawed at each other as the teams skated toward the locker room.
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 fast-break attempt for the insurance goal. That was their third power-play goal and the Flyers also had a short-handed score.
The Penguins were assessed 46 penalty minutes, and the Flyers 34, through the first two periods.
"I don't like them, because I don't like any guy on their team," Crosby said.
Fleury, having a series to forget, was replaced by Brent Johnson to open the third. New goalie, same result. Giroux scored 27 seconds into the third on Philadelphia's first shot of the period.
The scoring continued and so did the hard hits. Neal flattened Game 2 star Sean Couturier in the waning minutes and sent the Flyers rookie center to the locker room. Players from both teams — including Schenn and Crosby — had to be separated during a melee along the boards. Neal appeared to target Giroux's head in the third, though the Flyers star ducked and landed softly on the ice.
"We saw Neal going after Sean's head and Claude's head," Briere said. "Obviously, he had a plan in mind."
It's a plan Bylsma wants to avoid.
"The way the game was called, there was a lot of extracurricular activity during and after the plays," he said. "That's an area of the game we want to stay away from. We don't want to be involved in those situations against this team."
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.
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