LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins are Stanley Cup champions.

Brian Dumoulin, Kris Letang and Patric Hornqvist scored and Matt Murray made 18 saves as the Penguins beat the San Jose Sharks 3-1 Sunday night in Game 6 to win the fourth Cup in franchise history.

The Penguins last won it in 2009, exactly seven years ago. Letang, captain Sidney Crosby, forward Chris Kunitz and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury were part of the last championship, too.

Pittsburgh won this Cup 4-2 despite a stellar performance from Sharks goaltender Martin Jones, who stopped 24 shots. Logan Couture scored his 10th goal of the playoffs and became the fourth player in the past 20 years to reach 30 points in the postseason. But he didn’t have enough help to stop Pittsburgh, which got a blocked shot from Crosby to set up the empty-net goal from Hornqvist with 1:02 left. San Jose finished with just two shots in the third period.

Forward Sidney Crosby won the Conn Smythe trophy for most valuable player in the NHL playoffs.

Three nights after squandering a chance to become the first Pittsburgh team to win a title in front of the home fans in 56 years, the Penguins finished the job on the road just like they did in Minnesota (1991), Chicago (1992) and Detroit (2009) in past title runs.

The championship in Detroit was supposed to be the first of many for a team led by players like Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. But a series of concussions that led Crosby to miss almost entire season and a half, and a run of early playoff exits that included twice blowing 3-1 series leads prevented a second celebration in the Crosby era until now.

This didn’t seem like it would be a season to remember back in early December when the Penguins were the near the bottom of the standings in the Eastern Conference and coach Mike Johnston was fired.

But led by coach Mike Sullivan, the Penguins recovered to make the playoffs as the second-place team in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh knocked off the New York Rangers in the first round, Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington in round two and then rallied from a 3-2 series deficit to beat Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference final.

The Penguins then were in control for almost the entire Cup final. They did not trail until Game 5 at home and responded to a strong push from San Jose in the clincher to avoid a decisive seventh game. Pittsburgh held San Jose to just one shot on goal in the first 19 minutes of the third period to preserve the one-goal lead and sealed the win with Hornqvist’s empty-netter.

Logan Couture scored the lone goal for the Sharks, whose first trip to the final in their 25-year history ended two wins short of a title. Martin Jones made 24 saves and was San Jose’s best player for the series.

While the season ended in disappointment, it also was a bit of a breakthrough for Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and the rest of a franchise that had been known for playoff collapses, most notably in 2014 when the Sharks blew a 3-0 series lead in the first round to Los Angeles.

There was an electric atmosphere before the final home game of the season in San Jose with fans starting their “Let’s Go Sharks!” chants well before the opening puck drop and an elaborate pregame light and video show firing up the fans.

But the Penguins jumped ahead for the fifth time in six games this series after Dainius Zubrus was sent off for tripping when Crosby’s line didn’t allow San Jose to leave its own zone.

Dumoulin took advantage when his point shot beat Jones for a rare soft goal allowed by the Sharks’ netminder. Jones made up for it late in the period with one sequence that started with a save against Crosby on the rush and ended with a pad save that robbed Conor Sheary to keep it 1-0.

Chris Kunitz came up with the defensive play of the period when his speed on a backcheck helped thwart a breakaway chance for Joel Ward. The Sharks tied it early in the period when Couture beat Murray with a big shot for his 30th point of the postseason.

Pittsburgh answered 1:19 later when Crosby sent a pass from behind the net to Letang, who beat Jones from a sharp angle to the short side to make it 2-1.

NOTES: Sharks F Melker Karlsson missed a few shifts in the first period after falling awkwardly into the boards and limping off the ice. … Couture joined Philadelphia’s Daniel Briere (2010), Malkin (2009) and Crosby (2009) as the only players in the past 20 years with 30 points in a postseason.

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