PHILADELPHIA -- The Penguins rebounded from a three-goal deficit to defeat Philadelphia, 5-4, at the Wells Fargo Center tonight.
The Atlantic Division-leading Penguins finished the first half of their season with a 16-8 record.
Chris Kunitz gave the Penguins their first lead of the evening -- and the only one they would need -- 18 seconds into the third period, as he took a feed from Sidney Crosby and beat Flyers goalie Brian Boucher from inside the right dot for his 14th goal of the season and seventh in five games.
Penguins defenseman Paul Martin returned to the lineup after missing two games because of an unspecified injury. Dustin Jeffrey replaced Joe Vitale, a healthy scratch, at center on the fourth line.
Jakub Voracek gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 11:18 of the first period, when his shot from inside the right circle caromed off Martin and eluded goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
That marked the first time in the past eight regular-season meetings that Philadelphia scored first.
Flyers winger Scott Hartnell went straight at James Neal, who had been sent off for elbowing Philadelphia's Claude Giroux at 10:45, as he came out of the penalty box and picked up an extra minor penalty during the scuffle that ensued.
The Penguins used that power play to tie the game, as Kunitz beat Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov from close range at 12:05 for his 13th of the season.
Assists went to Kris Letang and Crosby, the latter of whom had been shut out in his previous two games in Philadelphia.
The Flyers reclaimed the lead at 13:06, when Zac Rinaldo punched a Nicklas Grossmann rebound past Fleury, and Philadelphia defenseman Kimmo Timonen put a shot off Fleury and into the net from the left-wing boards at 18:17 to make it 3-1.
A bad period got a whole lot worse for the Penguins when Neal was penalized for slashing Bryzgalov with 15.2 seconds to go before the intermission, and the Flyers needed just 7.6 seconds to run their lead to three.
Voracek got the goal, as his shot deflected off Martin before going between Fleury's legs.
Tomas Vokoun replaced Fleury, who had allowed four goals on 18 shots, for the start of the second period.
The Penguins seemed to regain their composure and focus during the intermission, and Pascal Dupuis cut the Flyers' advantage to two at 5:30 of the second.
Dupuis took a feed from Crosby behind the net and beat Bryzgalov from between the left circle and the crease for his eighth of the season and first in eight games.
Neal got the Penguins to within one at 8:13, as his centering feed from the right side hit Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn in front and got past Bryzgalov.
The Penguins' surge continued at 15:47, as Tyler Kennedy scored on a slap shot from the right side of the slot for his first in seven games.
That tied the game and prompted Flyers coach Peter Laviolette to replace Bryzgalov with Boucher, who ended up getting the loss because of the Kunitz goal early in the third.
The Penguins are off until Saturday, when they will visit Toronto at 7:08 p.m.mobilehome - homepage - breaking - penguins
First Published March 8, 2013 2:45 AM