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Thu, Feb 27, 2014 - 7:00 PM ET
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Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz are looking forward to getting back to business after helping Canada bring home the gold in Sochi.

Olympic teammate and Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price played a big part in that run, but he won't have any impact on this game.

The Penguins come out of the break seeking a sixth consecutive home win over the Canadiens, who will be without Price again Thursday night.

Crosby and Kunitz are getting back into the swing of things after a memorable Winter Games. Both players scored while Price made 24 saves as Canada beat Sweden 3-0 in Sunday's gold-medal game.

"Put that kind of behind us," Kunitz told the Penguins' official website. "(Now) it's just adjusting and getting back to our systems, relearning to be on the ice in certain areas where you can be responsible and they're going to expect you to be and play. Playing another system for two weeks, you forget about some of the things here. But hopefully running through the reps (Wednesday) and (Thursday), we're ready for the game."

Pittsburgh (40-15-3), first in the Eastern Conference with 83 points, is gearing up for a stretch run that features 24 games in 46 days.

"It's good to get into a routine again," said Crosby, who leads the NHL with 50 assists and 78 points. "Managing rest is something we definitely have to keep in mind."

The Penguins have averaged 3.7 goals in going 16-1-1 over their last 18 on home ice. That shouldn't come as much of a surprise to Montreal, which has dropped five straight in Pittsburgh by a combined 19-10 score.

The Penguins most recently won 5-1 on Jan. 22 behind two goals from Jussi Jokinen. Crosby also scored, giving him 14 goals and 19 assists in 24 regular-season games versus Montreal.

The Canadiens (32-21-7) couldn't shake off the rust in their first game following the break, falling 2-1 to Detroit in overtime Wednesday. Peter Budaj made 28 saves while starting in place of Price, who was held out after aggravating a lower-body injury he sustained in Sochi.

Price, named top goaltender at the games after going 5-0-0 with a 0.59 goals-against average and two shutouts, is expected to be reevaluated Friday.

"We want to ensure that he's completely healthy when he returns to the lineup," coach Michel Therrien told the NHL's official website. "His situation is one that we'll be evaluating day by day."

Captain Brian Gionta scored the team's only goal with 29 seconds remaining in regulation. The Canadiens, who were outshot 30-20 while going 0 for 2 on the power play, gave up the winning goal with 28 seconds left in OT.

"The execution was not there," Therrien said. "Both teams played solid defensively. There wasn't much space on the ice, but we put ourselves in position to get a point. It's disappointing that we didn't score in overtime or get to the shootout."

Marc-Andre Fleury could be in goal for Pittsburgh. He is 20-3-1 with a 1.96 GAA at home this season, and 12-4-1 with a 2.43 mark in his last 17 starts versus Montreal.

Budaj is 0-1-2 with a 3.09 GAA in five games - four starts - against the Penguins.

Tagged: Canadiens, Penguins, Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, Carey Price

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