Sidney Crosby is THW's 2017 Playoff MVP

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Getty Images

Sidney Crosby became the third player to win back to back Conn Smythe Trophies - and the first since his owner, Mario Lemieux, won two straight in 1991 and 1992.

But Sullivan didn't see a reason why the Penguins couldn't do it, especially considering the roster experienced little turnover from the 2016 championship team.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are ready to celebrate their repeat Stanley Cup title this week with a second downtown victory parade in as many years.

So, will Sullivan give next season's Pittsburgh team the same spiel and use the possibility of a three-peat as motivation? "I think that we've got so many guys that are going to take experience from this run and use that to propel them over the offseason and come in during the regular season and do what we need to do".

Having a coach with an ability to challenge his stars without alienating them and a general manager with a knack for finding the right pieces helps.

What is becoming more clear, however, is that Fleury has likely played his last games as a Pittsburgh Penguin.

With a No. 1 goalie who is only 23 years old and already has two championships under his belt, Pittsburgh should be a Cup contender for many, many years.

If Sunday was his last, Cullen did not go quietly in his 1,489th National Hockey League game.

Both teams created good chances throughout the middle 20 minutes, but Murray and Rinne were on point. The Kings won it all in 2012 and 2014, and are now in the process of starting over.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have been teammates since the 2006 season and they have been through a lot together. The Penguins topped the Predators by a final score of 2-0 and won their fifth Stanley Cup in the history of the franchise. Center Nick Bonino may also depart in free agency, leaving the Penguins with considerable holes in their bottom-six, a strength of the team's balanced lineup.

Crosby and Malkin aren't anywhere near old or exhausted or in any kind of decline.

Crosby became the sixth multiple victor of the Conn Smythe Trophy since it was first handed out in 1965 and the third to win it in consecutive seasons, joining Philadelphia's Bernie Parent (1974 and 1975) and Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux (1991 and 1992).

Like in the past season, the series was finished after the sixth game, but we have to add that the encounter at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville was exciting and thrilling up to its end.

Matt Murray stopped 27 shots for Pittsburgh, including four critical saves when Nashville failed to capitalize on 3:28 of power-play time midway through the third period.

"There's been a lot of guys telling us we can't do it, and now we're standing here", Hornqvist said.

"My phone buzzed like 400 times last night, people asking me". "Yeah, especially with the pressure on us and with how many guys we had playing hurt".

Any three-peat bid would feature a slightly altered core, one that now includes Murray and young forwards Conor Sheary and Bryan Rust. "But I do believe that just in my time in Pittsburgh with them, I think they're appreciative of one another". "We know what it takes to get here now, and we have to learn from this experience". "It's a pretty special group".

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