The players who started the season on the Canadiens' No. 1 line have been through their share of ups and downs this season. At various times, its members have dealt with adversity – injuries, fatigue, inconsistent play and unrealized potential. But centre Tomas Plekanec feels that he, Michael Cammalleri and Andrei Kostitsyn are all hitting their stride at the right time as the Canadiens head into the Stanley Cup playoffs. The trio started the season together and they were recently reunited for the stretch run. While coach Jacques Martin said there will still be occasions when he tweaks his lines, he added that the Plekanec line was "dominant" in Tuesday's 2-1 overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks. While Kostitsyn is best known for his shot, he displayed his skills as a playmaker as he set up both goals in the win over Chicago which wrapped up a playoff spot for the Canadiens. "He can make great passes like last night for P.K. (Subban) on the winning goal," Plekanec said. "He's an overall good player. It's just a matter of him playing with a bit of fire. He's playing great the last month. Before he came back to our line with Cammy, he was playing strong with Larry (Lars Eller)." Plekanec is the Canadiens' leading scorer with 56 points, but his production fell off after a hot start. He struggled from mid-February to late March, when he went through a stretch where he missed four games with a lower-body injury. In the 17 games he played, Plekanec had two goals and three assists. It wasn't all Plekanec's fault. Cammalleri was injured during some of that stretch, and Kostitsyn was finding his game while playing with Eller and Benoit Pouliot. And through it all, Plekanec remained a defensive force, particularly on the penalty-kill.
Habs trio hitting stride at right time
Montreal Gazette | Apr 7