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At the Rink blog

Kostitsyn sees ice time dropping for Canadiens

Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 12:48 PM

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Kostitsyn sees ice time dropping for Canadiens
Andrei Kostitsyn had 4 points over the last three games before the All-Star break, but his minutes have been precipitously dropping over the last four games and now he's being demoted to the fourth line. Kostitsyn is expected to start Thursday's game against the Devils at Prudential Center as the left wing on the fourth line with Louis Leblanc and Yannick Weber.

Over the last six games, Kostitsyn has averaged roughly 14 minutes per game, topping out at 17:12 in a shootout loss to Pittsburgh on Jan. 20, when he had a goal and an assist. He's been limited to fewer than 14 minutes of ice time in four of the last six games after having the same thing happen only four times in his first 34 games.

The Canadiens have had only four power-play opportunities totaling 5:09 in the last two games, but Kostitsyn saw only five seconds of ice time on the extra-man unit. He had been getting a regular shift on the power play.

Mathieu Darche has been bumped up to third-line duty to play with Lars Eller and Mike Blunden.

Carey Price will start in net opposite Martin Brodeur. Chris Campoli will be a healthy scratch.

Here are the Canadiens' lines, D-pairs and goalies for Thursday's game:

Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Erik Cole
Rene Bourque - Tomas Plekanec - Scott Gomez
Mathieu Darche - Lars Eller - Mike Blunden
Andrei Kostitsyn - Louis Leblanc - Yannick Weber

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban
Hal Gill - Raphael Diaz
Tomas Kaberle - Alexei Emelin

Carey Price
Peter Budaj

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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