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Penguins rally from 4-1 deficit to down Flyers

AP - The Flyers' Scott Hartnell takes a wrist shot at Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun who deflected the puck during the second period Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (AP)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>The Flyers' Scott Hartnell takes a wrist shot at Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun who deflected the puck during the second period Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (AP)
AP - Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov defends the goal as the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin maneuvers the puck in the during the first period Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (AP)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov defends the goal as the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin maneuvers the puck in the during the first period Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (AP)
AP - The Penguins' Sidney Crosby (right) brings the puck up ice trailed by the Flyers' Ruslan Fedotenko during the first period Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (AP)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>The Penguins' Sidney Crosby (right) brings the puck up ice trailed by the Flyers' Ruslan Fedotenko during the first period Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (AP)
Getty Images - The Penguins' Evgeni Malkin (left) and the Flyers' Claude Giroux battle for the puck Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Penguins' Evgeni Malkin (left) and the Flyers' Claude Giroux battle for the puck Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
Getty Images - The Penguins' Evgeni Malkin (left) and the Flyers' Erik Gustafsson fight for the puck in front of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Penguins' Evgeni Malkin (left) and the Flyers' Erik Gustafsson fight for the puck in front of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
AP - The Flyers' Wayne Simmonds (center) gets taken off the puck by the Penguins' Beau Bennett (left) and James Neal during the second period Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (AP)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>The Flyers' Wayne Simmonds (center) gets taken off the puck by the Penguins' Beau Bennett (left) and James Neal during the second period Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (AP)
Getty Images - The Penguins' Evgeni Malkin (left) stops at the net with the Flyers' Braydon Coburn defending as the puck slides under the pad of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov for a goal Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Penguins' Evgeni Malkin (left) stops at the net with the Flyers' Braydon Coburn defending as the puck slides under the pad of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov for a goal Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
Getty Images - The Penguins' Tyler Kennedy (48) and Matt Cooke celebrate a game-tying goal by Kennedy against the Flyers on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Penguins' Tyler Kennedy (48) and Matt Cooke celebrate a game-tying goal by Kennedy against the Flyers on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
Getty Images - The Penguins' Sidney Crosby skates in front of the Flyers' Luke Schenn (center) and Ilya Bryzgalov on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Penguins' Sidney Crosby skates in front of the Flyers' Luke Schenn (center) and Ilya Bryzgalov on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
Getty Images - The Flyers congratulate Kimmo Timonen on his first-period goal in from of Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Flyers congratulate Kimmo Timonen on his first-period goal in from of Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
Getty Images - The Flyers' Scott Hartnell (19) and Wayne Simmonds (17) fight off the Penguins' Brooks Orpik while screening goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for the fourth goal of the first period Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Flyers' Scott Hartnell (19) and Wayne Simmonds (17) fight off the Penguins' Brooks Orpik while screening goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for the fourth goal of the first period Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
AP - The Flyers' Kimmo Timonen (left) loses one of his gloves as he battles for the puck with the Penguins' Pascal Dupuis during the first period Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (AP)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>The Flyers' Kimmo Timonen (left) loses one of his gloves as he battles for the puck with the Penguins' Pascal Dupuis during the first period Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (AP)
AP - Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun eyes the puck against the Flyers on Thursday, March 7, 2013, in Philadelphia. The Penguins won, 5-4. (AP)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun eyes the puck against the Flyers on Thursday, March 7, 2013, in Philadelphia. The Penguins won, 5-4. (AP)
AP - Flyers goalie Brian Boucher reacts as the puck speeds past in the third period against the Penguins on Thursday, March 7, 2013, in Philadelphia. The Penguins won, 5-4. (AP)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Flyers goalie Brian Boucher reacts as the puck speeds past in the third period against the Penguins on Thursday, March 7, 2013, in Philadelphia. The Penguins won, 5-4. (AP)
Getty Images - Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun has been cleared medically to play in the NHL. Vokoun, out since September because of a blood clot in his pelvis, said after Wednesday’s workout at Consol Energy Center that he intends on playing this season.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun has been cleared medically to play in the NHL. Vokoun, out since September because of a blood clot in his pelvis, said after Wednesday’s workout at Consol Energy Center that he intends on playing this season.
Getty Images - The Flyers' Jakub Voracek (93) passes the puck past the Penguins' Deryk Engelland on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Flyers' Jakub Voracek (93) passes the puck past the Penguins' Deryk Engelland on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
AP - Pittsburgh Penguins' Chris Kunitz reacts after scoring on Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, rear, in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, March 7, 2013, in Philadelphia. Kunitz went on to score again in the third period of the Penguins' 5-4 win. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Pittsburgh Penguins' Chris Kunitz reacts after scoring on Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, rear, in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, March 7, 2013, in Philadelphia. Kunitz went on to score again in the third period of the Penguins' 5-4 win. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)
Getty Images - The Flyers' Sean Couturier (14) skates away with the puck from teammate Matt Read (24) against the Penguins on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Flyers' Sean Couturier (14) skates away with the puck from teammate Matt Read (24) against the Penguins on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
Getty Images - The Penguins' Evgeni Malkin (71) and the Flyers' Ruslan Fedotenko battle along the boards Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Penguins' Evgeni Malkin (71) and the Flyers' Ruslan Fedotenko battle along the boards Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
Getty Images - The Penguins' Dustin Jeffrey (15) tries to get the puck past the Flyers' Kimmo Timonen on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Penguins' Dustin Jeffrey (15) tries to get the puck past the Flyers' Kimmo Timonen on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
Getty Images - The Flyers' Nicklas Grossmann (8) checks the Penguins' Craig Adams on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Flyers' Nicklas Grossmann (8)  checks the Penguins' Craig Adams on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
Getty Images - The Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) works his way through the offensive zone against the Flyers on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) works his way through the offensive zone against the Flyers on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
Getty Images - The Penguins' Pascal Dupuis (9) works his way around the net against the Flyers on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Penguins' Pascal Dupuis (9) works his way around the net against the Flyers on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
Getty Images - The Flyers' Nicklas Grossmann (8) checks the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Flyers' Nicklas Grossmann (8) checks the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
Getty Images - The Penguins' Tomas Vokoun (92) makes a save with his chest on a shot by the Flyers' Danny Briere on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Penguins' Tomas Vokoun (92) makes a save with his chest on a shot by the Flyers' Danny Briere on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
Getty Images - The Penguins celebrate a second-period goal in front of the Flyers' Danny Briere on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Penguins celebrate a second-period goal in front of the Flyers' Danny Briere on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
Getty Images - The Flyers' Brian Boucher (33) makes a save against the Penguins on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images</em></div>The Flyers' Brian Boucher (33) makes a save against the Penguins on Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
AP - The Flyers' Scott Hartnell (left) is hounded by the Penguins' Pascal Dupuis while bringing the puck out from behind the Flyers goal during the third period Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (AP)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>The Flyers' Scott Hartnell (left) is hounded by the Penguins' Pascal Dupuis while bringing the puck out from behind the Flyers goal during the third period Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (AP)
AP - The Flyers' Scott Hartnell (left) and the Penguins' James Neal collide with goalie Brian Boucher and slide into the net during the third period Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (AP)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>The Flyers' Scott Hartnell (left) and the Penguins' James Neal collide with goalie Brian Boucher and slide into the net during the third period Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (AP)
AP - The Flyers' Kimmo Timonen stands near center ice after his goal was reviewed and disallowed in the third period against the Penguins on Thursday, March 7, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>The Flyers' Kimmo Timonen stands near center ice after his goal was reviewed and disallowed in the third period against the  Penguins on Thursday, March 7, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP)

Penguins/NHL Videos

Thursday, March 7, 2013, 9:54 p.m.
 

PHILADELPHIA — Maybe the first 20 minutes Thursday served as the Penguins' final learning tool regarding the Flyers.

From that point, they didn't hit back, didn't take foolish penalties and were wise with the puck.

The sudden composure resulted in a 5-4 victory and was another blow to the struggling Flyers. Philadelphia trails the Penguins, who have a game in hand, by nine points.

“This was big for us tonight,” defenseman Matt Niskanen said. “We needed this one.”

Down, 4-1, through one period, the Penguins dominated the final 40 minutes. Chris Kunitz scored twice, including the game-winner 18 seconds into the third period, and now has 14 goals.

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby took a four-point lead in the NHL scoring race, producing three assists for his eighth three-point game since Feb. 2.

Right wings James Neal, Tyler Kennedy and Pascal Dupuis also scored.

But what most satisfied the Penguins wasn't the comeback, but the way they shut down the Flyers during the final 19:42.

Philadelphia recorded 18 shots in the first period for the Penguins but only 14 during the remainder of the game.

“It couldn't have gotten worse,” Neal said of the first period. “We could only go up from there. Some guys said a few things. Vouky (goalie Tomas Vokoun) said a few big words to get us going.”

Vokoun replaced goalie Marc-Andre Fleury after the first period and didn't allow a goal. Of course, he wasn't asked to make many spectacular saves, as the Penguins picked up their defensive coverage and decision-making with the puck during the final 40 minutes.

“We did a good job of not giving up too many tough ones,” Crosby said. “But he did a good job coming in.”

The first period was a surreal reminder of what happens to the Penguins when they play by the Flyers' rules.

Philadelphia piled up four goals on Fleury, two of which came on the power play. Another came one second after a penalty expired, essentially giving the Flyers three goals with a man advantage.

Neal was in the center of the Penguins' problems, taking three penalties in the first period. When he exited the penalty box following Philadelphia's first goal, Neal was confronted by Flyers left wing Scott Hartnell, which triggered the first of many first-period altercations.

“I think that's happened a couple of times in this building,” Neal said. “He's doing what he's got to do, I guess.”

The Penguins did what they had to do the rest of the evening and are 16-8-0 at the season's halfway mark — five points clear of the New Jersey Devils for the Atlantic Division lead.

“This was a big step,” Niskanen said. “We did a good job of staying focused. We kept the third period calm, which is what we needed to do. We were pretty ticked with how the first period went, obviously. But no one hit the panic button. We knew it was time to compete harder and that things would turn around.”

The Penguins were guilty of five penalties in the first period and only one the rest of the way.

“I like how we came out and played,” Bylsma said, referring to the final two periods. “We stuck with it. Our guys stayed focused. We limited their opportunities. We played the right way. Maybe our best (period) with the lead in the third.”

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jyohe@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.

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