Flyers take command of series

Philadelphia's Wayne Simmonds puts the puck past the reach of Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury during the second period of the Flyers' 8-4 victory.

PHILADELPHIA — 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. There was a rare fight between superstars when Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby squared off against Giroux.

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 rival.

Marc-Andre Fleury was benched after allowing six goals in two periods. He has allowed a whopping 17 goals in the first three games.

PANTHERS 4, DEVILS 2

In Sunrise, Fla., Stephen Weiss scored the first two playoff goals of his 10-year NHL career, Jose Theodore stopped 23 shots and Florida got its first playoff victory in nearly 15 years, beating New Jersey to even the first-round series at a game apiece.

Marcel Goc had a goal and an assist for the Panthers.

Game 3 is Tuesday night in New Jersey.

PREDATORS 3, RED WINGS 2

In Detroit, Shea Weber turned boos into silence with a goal early in the first period and Nashville held on to beat the Red Wings to take a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.

Henrik Zetterberg scored with just under a minute left to pull the Red Wings within one, but they couldn’t tie the game to force overtime.

Weber snapped Nash­ville’s 0-for-12 streak on the power play against the Red Wings and helped the franchise win its first playoff game against them on the road.

Detroit will need to win Tuesday night at home to avoid facing elimination in Game 5 at Nashville.

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