The Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers played in an intense rivalry game on Sunday and ended it with some fireworks that included multiple fights and coaches screaming at each other.
The action in the final minutes started with Penguins forward Joe Vitale taking a run at Flyers forward Danny Briere. It was a clean shoulder hit, but the Flyers players took exception, and then the craziness erupted.
One of the fights that began as a result from the Vitale hit was between Penguins forward Arron Asham and Flyers forward Brayden Schenn. Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds also fought with Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland.
Just a few minutes earlier, Schenn cross-checked Penguins star Sidney Crosby from behind, which led to a shouting match between Crosby and some Flyers players, including Simmonds.
One of the better parts of the whole late-game brawl was Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette standing on the edge of his team's bench and barking toward the Penguins coach Tony Granato.
Laviolette was angry that the Penguins sent out their fourth line with about a minute left in a 6-3 game against the Flyers' second line, which in my opinion is certainly something to be angry about.
Granato and Laviolette were both ejected from the game.
All of this sets the stage for what should be an unreal first-round playoff series between these two teams. Pittsburgh is fourth in the Eastern Conference standings and Philadelphia is fifth, and there aren't any teams that have a shot to overtake them and prevent this matchup from happening.
Unless the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks meet in the Stanley Cup Final for the second straight season, this Penguins and Flyers matchup will certainly be the best of the playoffs. No doubt about it.
For what it's worth, the Flyers are 4-1 against the Penguins this season, and they still have to face each other one more time in the regular season on Saturday in Pittsburgh.
Sunday's game set the stage for what should be a thrilling couple of weeks between the Penguins and Flyers.