Concussed Kostitsyn out for Habs
Andrei Kostitsyn is doing fine, but he won't be in the lineup when the Montreal Canadiens host the Florida Panthers Monday night.
The Canadiens winger suffered a concussion when he was slammed into the boards in Saturday's 4-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. Habs coach Guy Carbonneau said Kostitsyn isn't suffering from headaches and will skate with the team during Monday's practice, but he won't dress for the game against the Panthers.
"I would have trouble seeing him in the lineup (tonight)," Carbonneau told the Montreal Gazette. "We have five days off after this and we don't want to risk his health after an impact like that."
Coyotes defenceman Kurt Sauer slammed Kostitsyn's head into the glass during the second period of Saturday's game. Kostitsyn was motionless on the ice for several minutes and was visibly dazed when he was taken to the team's dressing room sporting a shiner.
Shaken at the sight of his brother being helped off the ice by the team's training staff, Habs forward Sergei Kostitsyn received some words of encouragement by Canadiens captain Saku Koivu on the Montreal bench.
"He was obviously upset and frustrated," Koivu told Hockey Night In Canada. "I told him it was going to be OK and he needs to get his focus back."
Sauer wasn't assessed a penalty on the play and Carbonneau doesn't expect the NHL to suspend the Coyotes defenceman.
"From what I understand, they don't see the hit to the head." Carbonneau said. "I'm not saying they think it's a clean hit, but they don't see the impact. I look at it the other way. I've seen the replay 50 times and you see [Sauer] definitely push his arm forward.
"His two feet leave the ice and he's a pretty strong guy. That, for me, tells me the hit was pretty high. I know [Andrei] hit the ice, but the fact he didn't protect himself tells me it was a pretty hard hit."
After suffering a 2-1 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres opening its season, Montreal has reeled off four consecutive victories, out-scoring opponents 19-8. The Canadiens haven't begun a season with five victories in six games since the 1982-83 campaign.
"Winning is fun, and right now we've only lost that first one in the shootout in Buffalo so we're still at the point where we need to rack up wins and move up in the standings," said Alex Tanguay. "Right now we're certainly having fun."
With files from Canadian Press