Its down to one-and-done for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
A lethal combination of special teams play and utter chaos and brawling saw the Flyers spank the Penguins 8-4 Sunday afternoon at Wells Fargo Center, pushing Pittsburgh to the brink of elimination.
Peter Laviolettes club has a 3-0 stranglehold on the series.
As wild as Fridays Game 2 was, this trumped it with fight-marred, opening period that featured 72 penalty minutes. It ended in absolute pandemonium with most of the players on both clubs either in the dressing room or the penalty box.
Game 4 is Wednesday and while the Flyers will welcome a two-day break from the physical and emotional toll its already taken, thats also two days for Dan Bylsmas club to wallow in sorrow and think about what could lie ahead.
Three power play goals and their third shorthanded goal of the series were the emphatic difference in this one as the Flyers have owned Pittsburgh on special teams this series.
Didnt work. Claude Giroux greeted him with the first-shot goal 27 seconds into the period.
In the final minutes of play, James Neal buried an unsuspecting Sean Couturier with a dirty hit that knocked him face down on the ice. He drew a charging call.
Couturier, the most dominant defensive center in the series, who has shut down Evgeni Malkin, had to be helped off the ice. He did not have the puck when hit.
That touched off another flurry of scrums that dominated the early part of the game.
Chaos reigned in a wild, opening period that took just shy of an hour in real time to play because of the penalties, fights, scrums and stoppages for six goals.
The depth of dislike between these two clubs was never more evident than at 12:02, the shift that came after Danny Brieres second goal of the game -- his 100th career playoff point in as many games -- had given the Flyers a 3-1 lead.
Crosby collared Timonen by the neck of his jersey, leading to Giroux separating them and dropping gloves with Crosby, while Timonen dropped them with Pens defenseman Kris Letang and got hammered.
After a very lengthy delay, the Pens ended up with a power play on a slash by Timonen. Letang and Timonen were both ejected under Rule 46.7 for a second fight after the original altercation (Crosby vs. Giroux).
Hostilities continued later in the period when ex-Flyer Arron Asham knocked Bryaden Schenn to the ice after the rookies debatable check to Paul Martin, which was ruled charging. With Schenn face down, Asham jumped him from behind and punched him to the head, drawing a match penalty and automatic suspension.
When that settled, James Neal got his first goal of the series for Pittsburgh at 15:17 before rookie Matt Read wheeled out from behind the net for a turnaround goal to make it 4-2 at intermission.
Losing Letang hurt the Pens more because he controls the back end for Pittsburgh while acting as the quarterback on both their power play units, not to mention being their only truly physical presence on the blue line.
The game began with the Pens scoring first -- nothing unusual there. Bryzgalov gave a bad goal to Jordan Staal four-on-four off his left arm at 3:52
Hideous as that was, Fleury topped it soon after when Max Talbot, on his knees, backhanded a puck that trickled past Fleury during yet another shorthanded scoring play between Talbot and Giroux.
The special teams bonanza continued with Brieres first goal of the game on the power play at 8:19 to give the Flyers a 2-1 led they would not relinquish.
Thats another thing. While the Penguins continually failed to hold leads, the Flyers have built on the ones they've had.
Momentum swung quickly back to Pittsburgh in the second period on Neals second goal on the power play to make it 4-3 at 10:31. Matt Read answered with another Flyer power play goal to regain the two-goal lead.
Alas, with less than five minutes left in the stanza, Bryzgalov committed yet another gaffe that hurt.
The tall Russian squeezed his pads to stop Neal from the circle. Except the puck trickled behind him to the far post on the goal line. Bryz had no idea he had lost the puck when Staal skated by and tapped it in.
Then it was 5-4.
As has been the case this entire series, one of these teams seems to score in the final minute of a period.
With under a minute left and the Flyers on the power play, Braydon Coburn chased down a Penguin clearing pass in neutral ice, then hit Wayne Simmonds with a perfect entry pass for a breakaway on Fleury.
Simmonds got him to commit, then went forehand-backhand, making it 6-4 heading into the third period.