Sidney Crosby let out a scream as he lifted the Stanley Cup above his head, a wide smile spread across his face. The seven years of adversity since he last held the trophy were firmly in his past. The concussions that nearly derailed his career. The early playoff exits. The rough start to this season that led to a coach being fired. Crosby and the Penguins are once again champions. A kid no more and surrounded with new talent, Crosby set up Kris Letang's go-ahead goal midway through the second period and Pittsburgh won the fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history by beating the San Jose Sharks 3-1 in Game 6 on Sunday night.
"It wasn't easy getting here, especially the way things started out," Crosby tells the AP. "The first half wasn't easy and I think everyone just stuck together, kept going, and found some momentum there in March and continued to keep it going." Brian Dumoulin opened the scoring with a power-play goal, and Patric Hornqvist added a late empty-netter. Matt Murray made 18 saves to give the Penguins a championship seven years to the day after they beat Detroit for their third title. The game ended when Crosby cleared the puck the length of the ice with San Jose on the power play, setting off a wild celebration. All that was left was for Crosby to accept the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, and then the Stanley Cup. (Read more Stanley Cup stories.)