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Sleeping giant

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL – Andrei Kostitsyn has clearly awoken from his early-season slumber and not a moment too soon for the ailing Habs.

After a an uncharacteristically slow start to the season, Kostitsyn has been providing flashes of what makes him one of the most promising young talents on the team. Suddenly, Kostitsyn is riding a three-game point streak, with the Belarusian winger amassing four points along the way.

Forming a line with Tomas Plekanec and Michael Cammalleri, Kostitsyn has helped pick up the slack from the huge losses of Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez in recent days.

“With all the changes to our lineup from all of these injuries, everything we’re doing lately is trial and error,” admitted Cammalleri, one of the main beneficiaries of a red-hot Kostitsyn. “I think things clicked immediately with Tomas, Andrei and I. I mean, we needed nine seconds to score a goal tonight. They are a couple of really talented players and we played well tonight and helped the team climb back into this game.

“Andrei made two terrific plays tonight,” continued Cammalleri. “It’s impossible to have 82 good games in this league or to always have a great season. He had a few problems early in the season this year, but he’s sure got it going now and he’s playing really well. He did a great job tonight and he can really be a player who can have a real impact on our team.”

No stranger to what Kostitsyn can bring to the table given his career-year enjoyed alongside him and Alex Kovalev in 2007-08, Plekanec is thrilled to see his old teammate catching fire once again.

“We all know what Andrei can do,” explained Plekanec. “He’s a good forechecker who throws his body around and can make great passes. He creates a lot of space for us out there so that we can get open and take advantage of our opportunities.”

With a combined 13 points over their last three games as a line together, Kostitsyn, Plekanec and Cammalleri can expect a lot more time together. That suits Cammalleri just fine, who likes what he’s seeing from a team that has really begun to come together in the face of adversity.

“It was important for us to pick up a point tonight,” said Cammalleri. “There was a win at all costs attitude that I felt tonight and I liked that. With all the injured bodies we have right now, picking up three out of a possible four points against Washington and Detroit is something we have to be pretty satisfied about.”

A resurgent Kostitsyn doesn’t hurt either.

Manny Almela is a writer for

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