PHILADELPHIA – The Flyers opened to a throwback video from the Stanley Cup glory days, then displayed a quick fuse that showed flashes of the old Broad Street Bullies spirit and revved up the crowd.
The bond with the past and the rowdy home fans gave a nice emotional lift, but it was Jeff Carter and Mike Richards who jolted the offense early and really got Philadelphia back in its playoff series against Pittsburgh.
Carter and Richards scored their first goals of the series early for a sorely needed fast start on home ice. Claude Giroux and Simon Gagne put the Flyers ahead for good in a 6-3 victory over the Penguins on Sunday.
Pittsburgh leads the opening-round series 2-1 and Game 4 is Tuesday night in Philadelphia.
“It was a huge game. We didn’t want to go down 3-0 because that’s a tough task,” Flyers center Danny Briere said. “We have to enjoy it for a few minutes here.”
Unlike last season’s Eastern Conference finals when the Flyers flopped at home against the Penguins in Game 3, this year’s team came out charged from the opening faceoff.
Carter, the NHL’s scored-leading goal scorer, scored his first of the postseason 3 minutes into the game, and Richards made it two goals on two shots for the Flyers 2:15 later.
The Flyers put the pressure on early for the first time and were determined not to get outmuscled against the Penguins. The Flyers, the most penalized team in the NHL, and the Penguins never stopped scrapping and put on quite a show for the energized crowd.
“You look at Game 1, and I thought we sat back too much and let them dictate the pace,” Briere said. “We can’t sit back and let them dictate because guys like Crosby and Malkin are going to hurt you.”
Evegni Malkin scored two goals for the Penguins, who are still waiting for Sidney Crosby to catch fire. Crosby had two assists in Game 3, but has only one goal in three games.
Devils 3, Hurricanes 2: At Raleigh, N.C., Travis Zajac scored at 4:58 of overtime and New Jersey won in an Eastern Conference playoff series.
Zach Parise scored for the third straight game and assisted on Zajac’s winner, giving the Devils a 2-1 series lead and helping them bounce back from an overtime loss two nights earlier on home ice by turning the tables on the Hurricanes.
Game 4 is Tuesday night in Raleigh.
Canucks 3, Blues 2: At St. Louis, Steve Bernier broke a tie in the opening minute of the third period with Vancouver’s third power-play goal of the game.
Mattias Ohlund and Daniel Sedin also scored power-play goals, and Roberto Luongo made 24 saves to help the Canucks take a 3-0 series lead.
David Backes and Andy McDonald scored for St. Louis.
Game 4 is Tuesday night in St. Louis.