SUN Hockey Pool

Bad back plagues Gilbert

DEREK VAN DIEST

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

DETROIT -- Tom Gilbert has had lower back issues in the past, but never this bad.

The Edmonton Oilers defenceman had to leave Thursday's game against the St. Louis Blues after his back tensed up on him.

It's unlikely he'll be able to play today against the Detroit Red Wings.

"Usually I can work through it during a game," Gilbert said yesterday. "But this one just tightened up and I just couldn't hack it."

FIVE D-MEN

Gilbert had to leave in the second period of the 2-1 shootout win. Already down a defenceman when Lubomir Visnovsky dislocated his shoulder on Tuesday, the Oilers were forced to play the rest of Thursday's game with only five blue-liners.

Theo Peckham was called up yesterday to take Gilbert's place in the lineup.

Peckham leads all Falcons defencemen in scoring this season with six goals and 13 assists in 43 games. It's the second time he's been called up this year.

Gilbert, meanwhile, was injured when he got tangled up with Blues goaltender Chris Mason.

COSTLY CRUISE

"I was skating on the ice and I was in front of their goalie and my foot just kind of got caught with his stick," Gilbert said. "I kind of stretched out my leg and that must of twisted my back somehow. Don't ask me what I was doing in front of their net."

Without Visnovsky in the lineup, Gilbert was required to jump up in the rush more often in an effort to provide offence. He registered a pair of shots on goal before having to leave.

"I felt good (Thursday) too," he said. "Now it's just a matter of heating it and icing it, or whatever treatment they have on me now to try and loosen up the muscle. I'll for sure try to play (today) if I can."


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