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.
Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz put the Penguins up 2-0 early, sending the capacity home crowd into boisterous celebration.
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.