Sidney Crosby earns playoffs MVP with 2nd career Conn Smythe Trophy

Penguins defense deserves more credit (1:19)

Barry Melrose says that both coach Mike Sullivan and the Pittsburgh defense deserve a great deal of credit and believes Sidney Crosby is well deserving of the Conn Smythe Trophy as it's awarded to the MVP of the playoffs, not just the Stanley Cup Final. (1:19)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player in the playoffs after his team hoisted the Stanley Cup for the second straight season Sunday night.

Though held without a point on Sunday night in the Penguins' 2-0 win over the Nashville Predators, in 24 postseason games, Crosby led the league with 19 assists and his 27 points ranked second behind teammate Evgeni Malkin. He entered the game with a three-game point streak, including three assists in a 6-0 win in Game 5 on Thursday.

"You can't match this," Crosby said after lifting the Stanley Cup for the third time in his career. "This is what it's all about. To be able to share that with a group of guys, a lot of them guys you played a long time with and understand how difficult it is and what you've had to go through. You have a small window to play and have a career. I feel fortunate, but I also understand how difficult it is. You just want to try to make the best of it."

Crosby's back-to-back seasons winning the award marks only the third time that a player has repeated the feat.

Crosby joins fellow Penguins great and current team owner Mario Lemieux (1991 and 1992) and Philadelphia Flyers goalie Bernie Parent (1974 and 1975) as back-to-back trophy recipients.

"We set out to try to go back-to-back," he said. "We knew it was going to be difficult. I think that's probably where the most joy comes out of it. Knowing how difficult it is now to go back-to-back."

The back-to-back Cup titles and playoff MVPs further pad one of the more astounding résumés in modern sports history. Crosby's accolades include two Olympic gold medals, a golden goal at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, a World Cup title, the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 2007 and 2014, the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's top scorer in 2014 and the Maurice Richard Trophy as the league's top goal scorer in 2010 and 2017.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.