The Detroit Red Wings rallied for a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Two as their Stanley Cup rematch continued to follow a familiar script.
|Filppula and Marian Hossa lap up the glory in front of their home crowd [GALLO/GETTY]
The reeling Penguins, who trail 2-0 in the series, may be getting an uncomfortable feeling that history is repeating itself.
A year ago, the Red Wings shutout Pittsburgh in the opening two games of the finals at Joe Louis Arena.
The only thing that has changed is the Penguins have managed to score a goal in each of their 3-1 defeats.
Three and easy
Playing their third game in five nights and back on the ice less than 24 hours after Game One, the weary Wings spotted Pittsburgh an early 1-0 lead on Sunday but stormed back with goals from three players not known for their offensive flair – rookies Jonathan Ericsson and Justin Abdelkader, and Valtteri Filppula.
The best-of-seven series now shifts to Pittsburgh for the next two games, starting on Tuesday.
"I thought we were exhausted out there tonight," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock.
"It's amazing what will does for you.
"You've got to will yourself through, grind it out and we'll get a day off tomorrow.
"We found a way to win two games but we haven't been as good as we're capable of being and obviously we need to freshen up."
The Red Wings also received another brilliant effort from goaltender Chris Osgood, who underscored his reputation as a big-game performer making 31 saves and improving his Stanley Cup finals record to 10-2.
For the Penguins, the defeat presents them with a familiar, daunting challenge.
Of the 32 times home teams have swept the first two games of the finals, only once have they failed to go on and win the Stanley Cup.
The Penguins got off to a bright start and opened the scoring in the first period.
Evgeni Malkin, the playoffs' leading scorer, collected his 13th on a wild goalmouth scramble on a power play.
However, the Red Wings hit back with two goals in the second.
Ericsson, who had his appendix removed just four days ago, pulled Detroit level with a rocket less than five minutes into the period before Filppula edged the home team in front at 10:29.
Rookie Abdelkader, who notched his first career goal in Game One, gave Detroit a two-goal cushion early in the third, slapping a bouncing puck past Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.
"It's crucial this time of year to have a lot of young players that are enthusiastic, a lot of energy, to go out there and make things happen," said Detroit defender Brian Rafalski.
"They (Ericsson and Abdelkader) played great.
"They've been playing real solid defensively and offensively.
"When they contribute like that it's a big bonus and a big lift for the whole team."
Pittsburgh's frustration boiled over in the final seconds as Malkin dropped the gloves to scrap with Red Wings' Henrik Zetterberg, a former nominee as the league's most gentlemanly player.
"In the playoffs and finals like this, there is lots of emotions," explained Zetterberg.