Arron Asham, Neal's teammate and now fellow inmate, will miss the remainder of the series - no matter how long it continues - thanks to a four-game ban for his crosscheck on Brayden Schenn in the first period of Game 3.
Neal's hits - in which he left the ice to make contact with Giroux and Couturier - were just 42 seconds apart on the same shift.
"While we are willing to accept Neal's assertion that on [the Couturier] play he jumped to brace himself for an unintended collision . . . he once again launches prior to making contact with Giroux,'' Shanahan said in an explanation video released by the league. "It is also important to note that Neal was fined once and also received two warning calls from the Department of Player Safety earlier this season, in addition to having been suspended 3 years ago for a check from behind.''
Asham required a more serious, in-person meeting with Shanahan.
Pittsburgh also will be without forward Craig Adams for Game 4. Adams received an automatic suspension, as per league rules, for his instigator penalty within the final 5 minutes of regulation on Sunday.
Roxborough native Eric Tangradi, 23, is expected to replace Adams in the lineup, which would be his second career NHL playoff game. Joe Vitale, the player who tried to decapitate Danny Briere with a clean hit on April 1, and Dustin Jeffrey could replace Asham and Neal.
A truckload of Phantoms players arrived in Voorhees, N.J., yesterday to tag along with the Flyers for the remainder of their playoff run on the practice squad.
These "Black Aces," as they are known in the hockey world, include some familiar faces. Forwards Harry Zolnierczyk and Ben Holmstrom, defensemen Brandon Manning and Erik Gustafsson all saw time with the Flyers this season.
Tyler Brown, Matt Ford, Tye McGinn and 6-6 Danish defender Oliver Lauridsen round out the skaters.
Goaltender Michael Leighton, whom the Flyers rode to the 2010 Stanley Cup finals, also cleared waivers and will join the team in practice at some point this week.
Only four teams in the major sports with seven-game series (MLB, NHL, NBA) have successfully erased a 3-0 series deficit and won: 2010 Flyers, 2004 Boston Red Sox, 1975 New York Islanders, 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs . . . Tickets for Tuesday night's Sixers home game against Indiana started on Stub Hub at 99 cents. The lowest "get in" price for Wednesday night's Flyers game was listed at $218.18 for an upper-bowl seat . . . The Flyers are 3-7 in Game 4s in franchise history when leading a series 3-0.
"Ten days ago, we believed we could win the Stanley Cup. That still holds true, regardless of the situation."
- Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, on his team's mind-set going into Game 4 against the Flyers on Wednesday night.
Contact Frank Seravalli at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @DNFlyers. Read his blog, Frequent Flyers, at www.philly.com/frequentflyers.