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NHL - US Sports: Crosby grateful for another cup shot

Captain Sidney Crosby said he's grateful to have another shot at glory with a Pittsburgh Penguins core group who have already lifted the Stanley Cup three times together.

Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang were all influential in the Penguins' success of 2009, 2016 and 2017 and the trio are 18/1 to win a fourth Cup together.

Core group set to split up

Letang and Malkin are pending free agents this summer, while Crosby, who is signed through to 2024/25 accepts this could be their final chance to win together.

The Penguins will face the New York Rangers in the first round after finishing third in the Metropolitan Division, three seven points behind the Rangers in second.

Thirty-four-year-old Crosby and the Penguins will compete in the play-offs for a 16th straight season, the longest active post-season streak among teams in any of the major professional sports leagues in North America.

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Crosby joint-led the Penguins for points in the regular season with 84 points (31 goals, 53 assists) in 69 games. It's the 12th time in his 17 seasons that he's either led or been tied for the team lead in points.

He was named the Penguins most valuable player for the 10th time, second in team history behind Mario Lemieux (12).

Crosby prepared for future changes

Crosby reflected on the potential of the Penguins' core being split up: "As much as you don't want to think about it, it's something that you understand could be a possibility.

"You only get to play for so long, so I think just trying to enjoy it and be grateful for the opportunity that we have to do it again."

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