Penguins blank Predators, repeat as Stanley Cup champs

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Crosby has proven to be a generational talent with so many clutch performances, like the golden goal he delivered at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver or the way he played in the final three games of this year's Stanley Cup final against the Nashville Predators. All within a calendar year.

"I've said all along here that you don't win championships without character", said coach Mike Sullivan, who is 8-for-8 in playoff series.

The last franchise to go back-to-back was the Detroit Red Wings, whose ridiculously talented Steve Yzerman-led teams won in 1997 and 1998. The Penguins are the first to do it in the salary-cap era.

"He's just an example to follow", Letang said.

Crosby did have some help.

They now have three championships each and the tendency on the day after the Stanley Cup is presented is to bring in the word dynasty, define what is in these new financially-complicated times, and try and figure just how set up the championship team is to win more crowns. As a true No. 1 center, Johansen will command big coin, and his absence during the Stanley Cup Final after emergency thigh surgery was a difference-maker. Winning two in a row is nearly impossible, underscored by the fact that the Pittsburgh Penguins are the first to accomplish the feat since the Detroit Red Wings did so in 1998. Carl Hagelinand his speed made the game 2-0 shortly after on an empty net goal with 13 seconds remaining.

"The first two times he made a decision to have community things, and we'll see what happens if he wants to share it with the community again", Mason said.

"We knew (repeating as champions) hadn't been done in a long time and to be able to accomplish it is a great feeling". "Yeah, especially with the pressure on us and with how many guys we had playing hurt".

A similar passing of the torch took place on the ice during the Cup celebration. Crosby took the Cup from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman before handing the trophy off to veteran defenseman Ron Hainsey who passed it to veteran forward Matt Cullen, who may have played his final game at the age of 40.

With the league promoting _ some might say force-feeding _ non-traditional hockey markets such as Florida, Arizona, Las Vegas (next season) and, yes, Nashville, which proved during this Cup Final just how great the home fans are, Bettman's vision has to include parity in order to maintain a higher level of interest.

Earlier, Nashville had appeared to score early in the second period when Colton Sissons jabbed the puck home off a rebound. They had a brief two-game explosion in Nashville in Games 3 and 4, but it didn't carry over.

Hopefully we can get P.K. Subban to show some love for this young fan, and maybe show her some appreciation for having faith in the Predators after the season ended before she would've liked.

The referee thought Murray had the puck but it had actually trickled just behind him and into the crease where Sissons had what should have been the opening goal. "I got to drink out of the cup", Strauss said. "It was tough for sure".

Penguins owner Mario Lemieux, who has been a part of all five of the franchise's championships, two as a player and the last three as owner: "It's been an unbelievable year from the start, trying to repeat".

And it's the second championship for Sullivan, who has yet to lose a playoff series since taking over after Mike Johnston was sacked.