NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Sidney Crosby is bringing the Stanley Cup back to Pittsburgh for a second consecutive season.
Patric Hornqvist scored with 1:35 left, Matt Murray made 27 saves for his second consecutive shutout and the Penguins became the first team in nearly two decades to repeat as champions with a 2-0 victory Sunday against the Nashville Predators in Game 6.
The Penguins won their fifth Cup — all of which have been clinched on the road — to tie the Wayne Gretzky/Mark Messier-era Edmonton Oilers for sixth on the all-time list. The Detroit Red Wings were the last team to win back-to-back Cups, accomplishing the feat in 1997 and 1998. The Penguins are the first to do it in the salary-cap era.
‘‘We knew it was going to be tough all year, but we just tried to keep with it,’’ Crosby said. ‘‘We had a lot of injuries and things like that. We just kept finding ways. That was really what we did all season, all playoffs. It’s great to be able to do it.’’
Crosby won his second consecutive Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs to go with his third Cup. He finished second on the Penguins with 27 points (eight goals and 19 assists) in the postseason and seemingly was everywhere in Game 5, when he racked up three assists in a 6-0 victory to put his team on the doorstep of another Cup.
‘‘It goes by pretty quick, I’ll tell you that,’’ Crosby said. ‘‘It’s pretty special. . . . We found out just how tough it is, but it’s a great feeling.’’
Hornqvist scored off Predators goalie Pekka Rinne’s left elbow to silence the raucous crowd. The Predators challenged for goalie interference, but the goal was upheld. With Rinne pulled for an extra attacker, Carl Hagelin set off a celebration on the Penguins’ bench by scoring an empty-netter with 13.6 seconds left.
‘‘Obviously, it’s going to be the biggest goal I’m ever going to score,’’ Hornqvist said. ‘‘That’s always going to stand really close to my heart.’’
All that was left was the celebrating. 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.
The Predators lost for the first time in regulation at home in the postseason, and this one featured some hard luck. Colton Sissons had a goal erased by a whistle 67 seconds into the second period when the officials lost track of the puck. The Predators also went 0-for-4 on the power play, including 32 seconds of a five-on-three in the third.
‘‘It stings,’’ defenseman P.K. Subban said. ‘‘I think the biggest thing we’ve got to take from this is to remember the feeling. That’s what’s going to drive us. . . . We’re going to be back here again next year.’’
The Penguins will cap their 50th season by having their names engraved on the most famous silver cup in sports — again. It is also the third Cup for Crosby and a handful of teammates from the 2009 title team, surpassing the two won by the Penguins’ teams led by owner Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr in the 1990s.
And it’s the second championship in 18 months for coach Mike Sullivan, who has yet to lose a playoff series since taking over after Mike Johnston was fired in December 2015. Sullivan is the first U.S.-born coach to win the Cup twice.
‘‘It’s been an amazing year from the start, trying to repeat,’’ Lemieux said. ‘‘A lot of these guys played injured in the playoffs and showed a lot of character.
‘‘Of course, Sid being the best player in the world again and winning the Conn Smythe. He was our leader and picked up the team when we needed it.’’