It was the hit that started it all for the Flyers, coming at 12:17 of the third period. Bellemare was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct. Ryan White and Radko Gudas each got 10-minute misconducts from the scrum that followed.
This morning, the 6-1 loss for the Flyers was secondary. Instead, it was the behavior of Flyers fans taking center stage.
Down 4-1 and facing a five-minute penalty kill for Pierre-Edouard Bellemare's hit on Dmitry Orlov, fans started throwing LED bracelets used as part of the pregame festivities onto the ice. Lou Nolan warned of possible repercussions that could affect the team.
It settled for a moment, until Alex Ovechkin scored his second goal of the game to make it 5-1. The throwing continued and the Flyers were assessed a two-minute delay-of-game penalty.
The Flyers issued a statement regarding the behavior of fans during the third period of Game 3.
Watching the Flyers this season basically had the feel of watching two entirely different teams. The Flyers of the beginning of the season made it seem as though the playoffs were a pipe dream, while the Flyers of March made October look like a distant ways away.
They rallied from a snowball's chance in Hell at a playoff spot, to securing the final spot on the season's penultimate day. Their first playoff test wouldn't be easy, but then again, "easy" and "Stanley Cup Playoffs" were never two phrases that belonged together.
In just a matter of weeks, the Flyers have gone from one of the league's hottest teams to one loss away from the end of their season. As they stare down a 3-0 series lead, their season could very well end tomorrow -- though even if they can salvage a Game 4 win, it would just be delaying the inevitable.
The Flyers allowed five power-play goals and six unanswered goals. Embarrassing.
The Flyers resorted to the fisticuffs when the game got out of hand. Embarrassing.
The Flyers fans only made matters worse, throwing plastic bracelets used for the pregame ceremonies onto the ice with the game well out of reach. Embarrassing.
With the series essentially now over in only a matter of time, reflections from Game 3 need to be about not what went wrong within the game, but how the Flyers are really just finding out how far away they are from being a team with the competitive nature that the Capitals have.