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Penguins fight back, score 10 to extend series
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Undermanned and facing elimination, the Pittsburgh Penguins posted a staggering 10-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night.
Jordan Staal registered his first career postseason hat trick, while Evgeni Malkin scored twice and assisted on another goal for the Penguins, who were outscored 20-12 in falling behind 0-3 in this first-round Eastern Conference series.
Sidney Crosby and Steve Sullivan both had a goal and two assists for Pittsburgh, which tied a franchise playoff record for goals in a game.
"We needed it from the big guys and they certainly were there," said Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 22 Philadelphia shots.
Pittsburgh was missing several pieces of its lineup in the aftermath of Sunday's brawl-filled Game 3.
Forwards James Neal and Craig Adams received one-game suspensions, while forward Arron Asham was issued a four-game ban for cross-checking Philadelphia's Brayden Schenn in the throat.
Neal's punishment stems from him charging Flyers forward Claude Giroux at 15:18 of the third period. Moments earlier, Neal left his feet to deliver a hit to unsuspecting rookie Sean Couturier, a play that resulted in no penalty being called.
The hit on Giroux, however, spawned a scrum during which Adams instigated a fight with Scott Hartnell. As per NHL rules, any player that instigates a fight in the final five minutes is subject to an automatic one-game suspension.
Giroux, Kimmo Timonen and Jakub Voracek each scored a power-play goal for the Flyers, who were bidding for their first series sweep since ousting the reigning Stanley Cup champion New York Rangers in the 1995 conference semifinals.
"We weren't too sharp tonight. Maybe we thought it was going to be easy tonight in front of our fans," Giroux said.
Ilya Bryzgalov and Sergei Bobrovsky both surrendered five goals on 18 shots.
"It was a wild game. We didn't expect to lose like that and we wanted to finish the series tonight. They came out strong," Bryzgalov said.
Game 5 is slated for Friday in Pittsburgh.
"It doesn't get any easier from here," Crosby said. "We did a good job of hanging in there and we expect the same effort from ourselves and know that they are going to be hungry to finish things off, too."
It wasn't the start envisioned for a team facing a must-win scenario as the Penguins were whistled for two penalties in the first 1:29 of the game.
Philadelphia opened the scoring for the first time in this series after Sullivan clipped Giroux with a high stick at the 17-second mark. On the subsequent man-advantage, Giroux put the Flyers on the board with a shot through Fleury's legs at 1:16.
Thirteen seconds later, Malkin went off for hooking. But the Penguins killed the penalty and Malkin netted the equalizer after exiting the box at 3:37. The two-time Art Ross Trophy winner drove the net after passing the puck to Pascal Dupuis and backhanded home the rebound for his first playoff goal since May 4, 2010 at Montreal.
He missed the postseason last year because of knee surgery.
Pittsburgh grabbed the lead on a power-play goal by Matt Niskanen, who scored from the left circle at 8:05 off a pass from Crosby.
The Flyers moved in front with goals by Timonen and Voracek 46 seconds apart. Giroux fed Timonen for a one-timer from the top of the right circle during a 5-on-3, and Voracek converted a pass from Wayne Simmonds at 15:52.
Pittsburgh countered with goals from Crosby and Staal in a span of 70 seconds to go up 4-3.
Crosby was credited with the tying goal when a Niskanen right-point slap shot pinballed off Couturier and then grazed the back of his sweater. Staal then pounced on a loose puck following a scramble down low and scored into an open net from the slot at 17:29.
Pittsburgh blew the game open with a five-goal barrage in the middle stanza.
Kris Letang, Staal and Sullivan scored power-play goals at 3:07, 7:21 and 10:55. Dupuis lit the lamp at 14:59 before Staal potted his third at 16:03 on a 2-on-1 rush.
Malkin completed the scoring 4:04 into the third, slamming home the rebound of a Chris Kunitz shot.
The Penguins established a franchise record for goals in a road playoff game...Pittsburgh hasn't been swept since the 1979 quarterfinals against Boston...The Penguins snapped a six-game playoff losing streak...The 10 goals against tied a Philadelphia record. The Flyers dropped a 10-7 decision to the Penguins in Pittsburgh in Game 5 of the 1989 Patrick Division finals...Niskanen scored his first career playoff goal...Pittsburgh was 4- for-9 on the power play, while Philadelphia finished 3-for-5...Penguins defenseman Paul Martin missed Game 4 with an undisclosed injury. Simon Despres replaced Martin in the lineup and made his NHL postseason debut.
04/19 00:44:48 ET