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Stanley Cup Final

Mario Lemieux wins Cup for fifth time with Penguins

Former center celebrates third championship as owner after Game 6 victory against Predators

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / NHL.com Staff Writer

NASHVILLE -- Would Mario Lemieux call the Pittsburgh Penguins a dynasty? 

The owner didn't need to think long about his answer.

"No, it's not a dynasty," Lemieux said after the Penguins won the Stanley Cup for the second straight year with a 2-0 victory against the Nashville Predators in Game 6 of the Final here Sunday. "To be a dynasty you have to win four or five in a row. We're not quite there yet."

 

[RELATED: Complete Penguins vs. Predators series coverage | Pens join historic company with fifth title]

 

Understandably, his standards are loftier than most.

Lemieux helped the Penguins win consecutive Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1992. Since he became the owner in 1999, the Penguins have won three championships, in 2009, 2016 and 2017.

Lemieux was on the ice speaking with reporters not long after the Penguins became the first back-to-back champions since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. These days, the task is considerably more difficult for Lemieux and his management team, with the NHL salary cap having been introduced in 2005.

"It's a challenge every year," Lemieux said. "(General manager) Jimmy Rutherford's got to go out every year and make sure we're under the cap and we get some new young guys that can play for less than some of the veterans that we would like to have.

"The franchise has done a great job in drafting over the years and bringing in these young guys like [Conor] Sheary and [Bryan] Rust, and these young guys come up and help us win a couple of Cups in a row."

Video: Mario Lemieux on winning back-to-back Cups

Then he spoke about center Sidney Crosby, who won his second consecutive Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

"He's been able to lead this team from the day we drafted him," Lemieux said of Crosby, the No. 1 pick in the 2005 NHL Draft. "And he grew as a great leader, a great player, one of the best of all time. For him to win three Cups puts him amongst the greats of the game."

Someone mentioned that Crosby had said he couldn't equal the five Cup titles that Lemieux has now won.

"Maybe he can buy a piece of the team when he's done," Lemieux said.

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