Philadelphia, which had won its first two contests in a three-game California swing, reverted to form against San Jose by allowing six goals in the first 32:25 of the game. The Flyers have given up an NHL-worst 81 goals on the season.
San Jose scored on six of 18 shots against Robert Esche, who was knocked out after allowing a goal to Curtis Brown at the 12:25 mark of the second period. The six goals were the most San Jose has scored in 24 games against the Flyers.
Rissmiller, Curtis Brown, Kyle McLaren and Ryane Clowe each had a goal and an assist for the Sharks.
Vesa Toskala made 17 saves, including a spectacular sequence in the first period when he stopped Geoff Sanderson from in close and then while on his back kicked up his leg to save a shot from Derian Hatcher.
Sanderson scored the lone goal in the first period for the Flyers, who have the worst record in the Eastern Conference at 5-13-2.
It was a feisty game with San Jose's Mark Bell getting called for two fighting penalties - one with Ben Eager in the first period and again with Boyd Kane in the second. Bell was also called for boarding and high-sticking and accumulated 14 minutes in penalties.
The Sharks took control right from the start, scoring two goals before Philadelphia could even manage to get off a shot.
Rissmiller opened the scoring when he deflected a shot from the point by Ville Nieminen past Esche just 2:35 into the game for his second goal of the season.
Just over two minutes later, Michalek and Joe Thornton pulled off a nifty give-and-go move with Thornton sliding a backhand pass across the crease to Michalek, who tapped it in for his ninth goal.
That prompted Flyers coach John Stevens to call a timeout. The Flyers responded with Sanderson's power-play goal at the 8:16 mark and had a chance to draw even when Thornton was called for boarding about a minute later.
But Peter Forsberg gave the puck away in the offensive end to Brown, who sent Mike Grier off on a breakaway for a short-handed goal that made it 3-1.
San Jose broke the game open with three goals in the second period, started by McLaren's power-play goal at the 3:52 mark. The Flyers have been outscored 33-10 in the second period this season.
Notes: Philadelphia is 0-11-1 when giving up the first goal, joining New Jersey as the only teams who have failed to win a game when allowing the first goal. ... The Sharks are 14-2-0 against Eastern Conference teams the past two seasons. ... Sharks F Jonathan Cheechoo, the NHL's leading goal-scorer last season, was scratched with a left leg injury.