DETROIT -- Hold off on those parade plans.
That's the message from Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski, who knows something about the pressure of finishing off a Stanley Cup championship: He won twice with the New Jersey Devils and saw one chance slip away in agonizing fashion.
"There's still a lot of work to do," Rafalski said Sunday. "I've learned that. I've lost one."
Detroit will get its first of three chances to win a fourth title in 11 seasons -- and 11th in franchise history -- on Monday night at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
As a rookie in the 2000 Stanley Cup Finals, Rafalski and the Devils went up 3-1 against the Dallas Stars and were pushed to a Game 6.
The next year, Rafalski was within a win of repeating only to lose it as the Colorado Avalanche took the last two games and snatched the Cup away from him and the Devils.
In 2003, New Jersey was ahead 3-2 against the Mike Babcock-led Anaheim Ducks before beating them in Game 7.
"You've got to get that fourth game," Rafalski said simply.
Only the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs have rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals to win the Stanley Cup, pulling off the feat against Detroit after losing the first three games.
Anaheim won last year's Cup in Game 5 as Detroit did in 2002, but Carolina needed three potential elimination games to eliminate Edmonton in 2006.
Like Rafalski and the Devils, Calgary failed to take advantage of a 3-2 lead in the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals.
The Penguins will need all their stars to play up to their potential to have any shot at coming back
Especially, Evgeni Malkin.