MONTREAL – Sometimes a spark is all it takes.
After racking up just 33 points last year, Andrei Kostitsyn has exploded out of the gate with four points in five games so far. While there may be a few fans surprised to see the 25-year-old filling the net with such ease, long-time linemate Tomas Plekanec
isn’t shocked one bit.
“He’s doing what he does best: he’s shooting the puck, he’s hitting and he’s going to the net,” described the speedy center, who potted the game-winner off a great play by Kostitsyn. “There were three or four times tonight that he drove through the middle to the net and he opened up space for Cammy to shoot and he was a big part of that winning goal.”
While Plekanec is enjoying Kostitsyn’s hot start, even he doesn’t know how his sharp-shooting wingman is doing it.
“You’d have to have ask him – he didn’t tell me,” joked Plekanec. “It’s great to see. I think he’s way more involved and he’s crashing the net. Maybe before it wasn’t noticed as much, but you could see it tonight because of the big goals he created.”
In addition to notching the game-tying goal in the third period before assisting on the game-winner a minute and a half later, Kostitsyn also chipped in with four shots, two hits and two blocked shots on his way to a well-earned first-star for his night’s work. It’s something the Belarusian winger could definitely get used to.
“If I play like that every game, I’ll get lots of chances to score goals,” explained Kostitsyn. “I feel more comfortable out there. Tomas and I have played together for a long time. We started playing with Michael last year and we created good chemistry. We made some good plays. I’m trying to give 100% every shift and that’s why I’m getting so many chances.”
If Kostitsyn keeps playing the way he has at the start of the campaign, it looks like he can expect even more opportunities down the road.
“There’s no doubt Andrei Kostitsyn is a key element of our hockey team,” praised head coach Jacques Martin. “And he’s using his strength and skill to his advantage to carry the puck and drive hard to the net.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com. Read also:
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