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Pittsburgh Penguins clinch NHL's Stanley Cup again by beating Nashville Predators

Perhaps the Stanley Cup being in the building Sunday night made for more even play.

Mario Lemieux can appreciate the accomplishment of the Penguins winning not just back-to-back Stanley Cup championships but also three titles since 2009.

In addition to Crosby's NHL accomplishments over the a year ago, he also led Canada to a World Cup of Hockey gold medal and was named MVP in that tournament. "I'll enjoy tonight and the next few days, and we'll see".

"We were getting chances, just nothing was going in for us", Murray said.

The disallowed goal will be remembered in Nashville for a long time. He also set a rookie record with two shutouts in a Cup Final.

Lemieux, now the Penguins' owner, says he could always tell Crosby would become a special player. Tough series for Forsberg, who just one goal in six games, an empty netter.

The Pens won the series 4-2, just as they did against the San Jose Sharks a year ago.

Rinne understands coach Peter Laviolette was trying to wake up the Predators by pulling the veteran after allowing three goals on nine shots in the first 20 minutes of Game 5.

Evgeni Malkin had 28 points, including three goals in the Cup final.

The Predators had four power plays, including back-to-back opportunities midway through the second. 1 and 2 in playoff scoring since the league's 2005 lockout, and they were world-beaters again this year. Filling the sixth defensive spot could be Anthony Bitetto, with 14 career playoff games but none this postseason.

And it's the second championship for Sullivan, who has yet to lose a playoff series since taking over after Mike Johnston was sacked. Of course, Sid being the best player in the world again and winning the Conn Smythe. He's part of the family and a great kid as we all know, a great leader and he's (had an) awesome career so far.

The loss ended the upstart Predators' deepest playoff run in the franchise's 19 years. The Predators were the bottom seed in the West, seemingly unlikely to advance out of the first round much less be one of the last two teams standing.

It would have counted had referee Kevin Pollock not blown his whistle prematurely, costing the Preds an important 1-0 lead on a night when goals were so hard to come from. Nashville went through St. Louis and then Anaheim to the Final, where only captain Mike Fisher on the roster had ever played before.

Officials estimate 60,000 to 70,000 people were outside in downtown Nashville either watching the Predators game or attending CMA Fest events on Sunday night. He didn't play in the first two rounds of the playoffs, because he got hurt in warmups of Game 1 of the first round against Columbus.

A second period goal - different from the coach's challenge offside that cost them a score in Game 1 - should have counted Sunday night. Crosby and Malkin have been the best hockey players in the universe since around 2006, and the Penguins have been blessed with both of them together for all of that time.

Notes: Lemieux won the Conn Smythe in 1992 and 1992, and Bernie Parent was the first to win the MVP trophy in consecutive years in 1974 and 1975. Top goaltender Matt Murray missed the first two playoff series with an undisclosed lower-body injury, and in this series, center Nick Bonino has been on crutches with a broken tibia.