Canadiens welcome F Kostitsyn back into the lineup Staff

12/2/2009 4:22:00 PM

Montreal will welcome back a familiar face Thursday night when they face the Buffalo Sabres, as forward Andrei Kostitsyn returns to the Canadiens' lineup.

The injured Kostitsyn skated under the watchful eye of athletic trainer Graham Rynbend on Monday without equipment after the rest of his teammates left the ice. It was the first time on skates since blocking a shot with his foot last Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Kostitsyn also took part in the full skate on Tuesday before considering himself fit to play.

Younger brother Sergei Kostitsyn has been filling in for Andrei on the No. 1 line and has picked up a couple of assists in four games.

Scott Gomez, out since Nov. 20, and Matt D'Agostini (concussion) returned to the lineup on Tuesday in the Habs' 3-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, while Andrei Markov (ankle), Brian Gionta (broken foot) and Hal Gill (foot) remain on the injured list.