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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, February 27th (All times Eastern)

Montreal Canadiens (32-21-7) at Pittsburgh Penguins (40-15-3), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Fresh off earning his second Olympic gold medal, Sidney Crosby will get back to work for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday when they host the Montreal Canadiens at CONSOL Energy Center.

Crosby famously delivered the overtime game-winner for Team Canada in the 2010 gold medal game against the United States, but unlike four years ago in Vancouver the Canadians didn't need a dramatic finish to repeat as Olympic champions.

Canada won all six of its games at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and earned shutout victories in the last two outings, beating the U.S. 1-0 in the semifinals before downing Sweden 3-0 in the battle for gold. Crosby, who captained Canada in Sochi, posted a goal and two assists en route to another Olympic title.

Crosby's fellow Penguins star Evgeni Malkin and Team Russia did not fare nearly as well at the 2014 Olympics, as the host country was eliminated by Finland in the quarterfinals.

Sochi didn't end in glory for Pens head coach Dan Bylsma either. He had Team USA off to a 3-0 start in the tournament before the loss to Canada in the semifinals and a subsequent defeat at the hands of Finland kept the Americans off the podium.

"You have to put (the Olympics) behind you," Bylsma recently told the Pens official website. "The task at hand is coming back here and playing for the Penguins. That's the best way to put it behind you."

Pittsburgh returns from the break with a healthy 16-point lead atop the Metropolitan Division, but the club still has injury concerns to deal with. Defenseman Kris Letang is still out due to a stroke suffered prior to the Olympics. Fellow blueliner Paul Martin is out for at least a month after injuring his hand while representing the U.S. in Sochi.

The Pens were 4-1-1 in their final six outings before the Olympics. The club's next game will be played outdoors when Pittsburgh visits the Chicago Blackhawks for Saturday's game at Soldier Field, home of the NFL's Chicago Bears.

Montreal will try to bounce back from a loss in its first game after the Olympics. The Canadiens were handed a 2-1 overtime loss by visiting Detroit on Wednesday to have a three-game winning streak halted.

The Habs did not have No. 1 goaltender Carey Price for their first game back after he suffered a lower-body injury at practice on Wednesday morning. Price, who also will miss tonight's game, anchored Team Canada in its gold medal run in Sochi, posting a 5-0 record, a 0.59 goals against average and .972 save percentage.

Peter Budaj started on Wednesday and he stopped 28 shots before allowing Detroit's Gustav Nyquist to score with just 27.3 seconds remaining in OT.

The Canadiens still managed to notch a point thanks to Brian Gionta's game- tying tally with just 28.7 seconds left in regulation.

"In the third we started to pressure their 'D' a little more and it paid off in the end," Gionta said. "In the first two periods, they were able to come through out of their zone quite easily."

Budaj could get another start tonight for the Habs. Montreal also recalled Dustin Tokarski from its AHL affiliate in Hamilton on Wednesday to take Price's place on the roster.

The Canadiens and Penguins have split a pair of games so far this season, but Pittsburgh has won four of five and seven of its last nine meetings with Montreal.

The Habs, who are playing five of their next six games on the road, have dropped five straight in the Steel City.

02/27 10:49:05 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
 
2nd
NCSU 51
BSU 43
 
2nd Intermission
PIT 2
CAR 2
 
3rd
CHA 74
GSW 66
 
1st
UF 8
UNC 22
 
8:30pm Tonight
TULSA
ECU
Final
BOS 102
CHI 109
3rd
CHA 74
GSW 66
 
2nd
TOR 37
DAL 48
 
Half
DET 45
MIL 53
 
Half
ATL 41
NOP 28
 
1st
HOU 24
LAC 26
 
1st
OKC 28
NYK 13
 
1st
IND 26
ORL 20
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
SAC
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
PHO
10:00pm Tonight
POR
MEM
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MIN
Final
WMICH 21
NILL 31
Final
SMU 9
HOU 35
Final
IOWA 34
NEB 37
Final
SFLA 0
UCF 16
Final
MARS 66
WKENT 67
Final
KSU 27
AKR 24
Final
BGU 24
BST 41
Final
UMASS 21
BUF 41
Final
EMICH 16
TOL 52
Final
MIZZ 21
ARK 14
Final
SALABAMA 40
NAVY 42
Final
ARZ 42
ARST 35
Final
AFA 27
COLST 24
Final
UCLA 10
STAN 31
1st
VT 3
UVA 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
TULSA
ECU
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
 
Final
KU 82
TENN 67
Final
TEXAM 87
NO 65
 
Final
NCAT 57
RAD 65
 
Final
GEOR 58
BUT 64
Final
BRO 81
PVU 71
Final
RIU 66
SCU 44
Final
NARZ 70
SOUTH 63
Final
DART 68
MAST 67
Final
WRST 59
FIU 61
Final
XAV 73
UTEP 77
Final
OSU 73
JMU 56
Final
TXSOU 71
LAM 59
 
Final
TAMCC 75
MVSU 66
 
Final
AKAN 51
MIZST 55
Final
BUCK 80
PSU 88
 
Final
PROV 72
YALE 66
Final
UGA 62
MINN 66
Final
WISC 69
OKLA 56
Final
Terriers 70
NORST 72
 
Final
PEAY 62
STEPH 83
Final
FSU 58
CSOU 47
 
Final
VALPO 66
DRAK 46
 
Final
CIN 69
MTST 51
Final
SDU 75
PRIN 65
Final
WASU 76
RICE 74
 
Final
CSFU 64
USCU 79
 
2nd
GT 57
RIDE 52
 
2nd
TXPA 59
ALAST 77
 
2nd
NCSU 51
BSU 43
 
2nd
TCU 41
BRAD 37
 
2nd
WAKE 52
DELST 58
 
2nd
HART 75
EMERSON 44
 
2nd
STJ 37
GONZ 48
 
2nd
CLEM 51
HIGH 44
 
2nd
SYR 54
HC 37
 
2nd
MD 42
MON 38
 
2nd
JVST 57
SAV 49
 
2nd
MIAMI 73
SALA 61
 
2nd
RUTG 49
VANDY 47
 
1st
PETE 42
TENST 33
 
1st
MARS 15
CLST 25
 
1st
JST 18
HOF 28
 
1st
INDST 17
MEM 23
 
1st
UF 8
UNC 22
 
1st
LATU 13
SAMF 18
 
1st
TULA 40
SELA 32
 
1st
NEB 28
TENNM 24
 
8:30pm Tonight
MISS
CREI
1st
PORT 0
MURST 2
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
MSU
9:00pm Tonight
ARK
UNT
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
STET
 
9:00pm Tonight
IND
UNCG
9:00pm Tonight
SJST
WMICH
9:05pm Tonight
MNTST
TXARL
9:30pm Tonight
UVA
LAS
9:30pm Tonight
STLU
MSST
9:30pm Tonight
COLST
PAC
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
NDAK
10:30pm Tonight
ILL
BAY
10:30pm Tonight
UAB
UCLA
11:30pm Tonight
WASH
LBSU
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
MERC
Final
PHI 0
NYR 3
Final
ANA 1
CHI 4
Final
WAS 5
NYI 2
2nd Intermission
PIT 2
CAR 2
 
2nd
NJD 4
DET 2
 
2nd
BUF 1
MON 0
 
2nd
CLB 0
VAN 1
 
2nd
BOS 0
WIN 1
 
2nd
FLA 1
OTT 2
 
1st
STL 1
EDM 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
MIN