SUN Hockey Pool

Pisani ready to roll

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- Ales Hemsky and Geoff Sanderson were absent as the Edmonton Oilers boarded a plane headed for California yesterday.

The two stayed behind after suffering injuries in a 5-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.

Hemsky suffered a knee contusion and left in the third period, while Sanderson is having back problems.

"We're not expecting Hemmer to be out for a long time," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "We just have to take the time and see how it's going to respond.

"Right now he's in quite a bit of pain, so it's virtually impossible for him to play any of the upcoming two games, so we're going to leave him at home to get treated and try to get him ready for the next one."

In order to fill those roster spots the Oilers have called up Patrick Thoresen from the Springfield Falcons and activated Fernando Pisani.

Thoresen, 24, currently leads the Falcons with 12 goals this season and has been one of the team's most consistent players.

Pisani, 30, has not played due to a battle with ulcerative colitis this off-season.

"Fernando, we'll see how he comes through (yesterday's) practice and quite possibly we'll see him (tonight)," MacTavish said. "He's skated a lot. I'm going to really monitor his ice early and just give him what he's capable of. If he's looking tired and fatigued I'll hold him back as best we can, but I think he's ready. Mentally, he's ready."

Pisani has been working hard to regain the strength and the weight he lost during the most problematic time with his affliction.

"Physically, I think the only obstacle left for him is to get into some game activity now," MacTavish said. "In a perfect world, we could send him down (to Springfield) to play a couple of games, but we don't have that luxury. But I don't think, based on the way he plays the game that he needs that; he'll get up to speed pretty quickly."

Thoresen has spent the entire season in Springfield and is making his first appearance with the Oilers. The native of Oslo, Norway, had 12 goals and eight assist in 24 games with the Falcons, which placed him second in team scoring behind Rob Schremp.

A year ago, Thoresen was the biggest surprise out of training camp and made the team. But his numbers tailed off after a bright start and eventually was sent down to the minors.

"He's played well, he's been their best player for the last number of weeks," MacTavish said. "He plays in all situations, he plays centre as well. He's a guy that can help relieve the penalty-kill load that some of our higher-end forwards have to shoulder right now.

"We welcome that. We welcome Fernie back, hopefully, and we expect Thor to play well for us. That's normally the case when you get guys out of the minors that are playing well, they come up here with a lot of confidence and they just keep it going."


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