Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby instigated a lot of the scrums during the Flyers' wild 8-4 win Sunday, but the Penguins' superstar downplayed the actions after his team's practice on Tuesday.
Told that some Penguins fans were embarrassed by his team's display, Crosby went on the defensive.
"The tough part is, if they were in this room, they would see how much each guy cares," Crosby said. "It's more than one team that's doing that stuff out there. They should have nothing to be embarrassed about. They should be pretty proud of the guys they have here."
Added Crosby: "It's a terrible situation – being down, 3-0 – but I think that's when your need your fans' support the most."
The Flyers can finish the series with a win at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday.
"We're not going to sit here and make excuses," Crosby said. "We can't fix the fact we're down 3-0, but I think we all believe we can come back, and this is when you need your fans the most."
The Penguins have allowed 20 goals in the getting-nastier-by-the-shift series. Twenty. And they have been outscored on special teams, 9-3.
Crosby looked at the positives.
"You've got to win one. Focus on winning one and being desperate and leaving it all out there," he said. "For us, the good thing is we haven't played a full game yet. We'd love to see the result with a full game"
The Flyers have not swept a series since 1995 (Rangers), while the Penguins haven't been swept since 1979 (Bruins).
Late Tuesday, the NHL handed suspensions to the Pens' James Neal (one game) and Arron Asham (four games).
"We can't worry about who's in the lineup or what happened in the first three games. All our energy has to go toward winning that game," Crosby said. "If we have to play with 10 guys, we have to find a way to win."
Crosby said the Penguins must play with more discipline.
"Their power play has proven to be pretty dangerous," he said. "....We have to stay out of the penalty box."
In the first three games, the Flyers are 6 for 10 on the power play and have scored three shorthanded goals.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.