PITTSBURGH - Andrei Kostitsyn had his first career hat trick, leading the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
Kostitsyn, who missed the previous two games with a minor leg injury, scored twice in the first period and had the winner in the third. Tomas Plekanec added two assists for Montreal, 3-0-1 in its past four games.
Sidney Crosby and Pascal Dupuis each had a goal and an assist for the Penguins, who have scored only three goals in the past three games.
Kostitsyn, who entered the game with six goals this season and didn't have one since Dec. 4, scored 1:15 in on a pass from Plekanec after Josh Gorges' shot went wide but bounced hard off the boards.
Kostitsyn's second goal came with only 1.6 seconds to play in the first, giving the Canadiens a 2-1 lead after Dupuis had tied it for Pittsburgh four minutes earlier. Kostitsyn scored on a one-timer from the slot following Plekanec's pass from behind the net.
His third goal came at 2:21 of the third off a turnover at centre ice. Kostitsyn skated across the blue-line and ripped a slapshot between the legs of Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
Crosby tied it at 2 early in the second period by banking the puck off Montreal goalie Carey Price while he was attempting to tuck it in on a wraparound attempt.
Pittsburgh had 17 third-period shots but could not tie the game, partially due to some quality saves by Price, who has helped earn Montreal at least a point in each of his past 10 starts.
Notes: Kostitsyn had two previous two-goal games. ... Penguins D Ryan Whitney assisted on Dupuis' goal for his first point of the season. Whitney was playing in his third game since off-season foot surgery. ... For the past nine games, Pittsburgh has alternated wins and losses. ... The Penguins held a 34-19 edge in shots on goal.