Sergei Kostitsyn Demoted to AHL By Bob Gainey; Alex Kovalev Not Making Road Trip

Fred PoulinCorrespondent IFebruary 17, 2009

The younger of the Kostitsyn brothers, Sergei, packed his bags to Hamilton earlier today to regain his confidence after going through a slump lately. Sergei only has three assists in the past 11 games. His last goal was scored on Jan. 11. In 52 games this season with the Bleu Blanc Rouge, he has eight goals and 23 assists.

The Canadiens recalled gritty forward Gregory Stewart to take his place on the 23-man roster.

Stewart has one assist in three games this season with Montreal.

In another move, Bob Gainey asked All-Star MVP Alex Kovalev to stay home this week while his team will fly to Washington and Pittsburgh. Gainey asked him to do so in order to reflect on his play and to have some rest. Kovalev finds the situation difficult these days, but he did not ask to be traded, and he said he wants to stay in Montreal.

Gainey didn't reject the idea of trading Kovalev, but he believes Kovalev should be back on the ice when the Canadiens host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

Tomas Plekanec will be back from his two-game suspension tomorrow night in Washington.


Expected lines for tomorrow

Higgins - Koivu - D'Agostini

A. Kostitsyn - Plekanec - Pacioretty

Bégin - Lapierre - Kostopoulos

Laraque - Chipchura - Dandenault

Extra: Stewart