PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: Claude Giroux #28 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates his second period goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh may be the only hockey town on the planet where an early two-goal advantage is looked at with increasing skepticism, especially against the Philadelphia Flyers.
For the second game in a row, they jumped out to a quick lead.
For the second game in a row, the Flyers stormed back, answering each punch with an equally devastating counter-punch.
And for the second game in a row, the Penguins relinquished a multi-goal lead on home ice -- two, to be exact -- and fell to the Flyers 8-5 in Game Two of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at the CONSOL Energy Center.
Pittsburgh is now down 2-0 in the best of seven series, and heads to Philadelphia with a statistical and emotional mountain to climb in what will assuredly be a very hostile, boisterous environment.
All it took to stop the party was -- and no hyperbole here -- unbelievable save from Ilya Bryzgalov and a retaliatory tally from the suddenly villainous Maxime Talbot shortly after. Suddenly, a shroud of "oh no, not again" began to descend over the CONSOL Energy Center.
Paul Martin (PAUL MARTIN) reestablished the Penguins two-goal cushion with seconds left in the first period. But a pair of Claude Giroux goals in the second, including a second short handed goal for the Flyers, evened things at 3-3.
Kunitz responded in Giroux-like fashion, putting away a James Neal rebound to give the Penguins another lead...
...another lead that was lost in the waning seconds of the period thanks to Sean Coururier, who finished past a prone Marc-Andre Fleury.
Leaving everything to play for in the third period.
The Penguins jumped out on the right foot, with Tyler Kennedy sliding a backhander past Bryzgalov, re-reestablishing the hosts lead at 5-4.
That's when the Flyers scored four goals in a row. The game winner? From Jaromir Jagr of course. Oh, and Giroux managed to sneak a hat trick into the evening with an empty net goal in the dying seconds.
Game three is on Sunday in Philadelphia.