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Gilmour Goes Down in Leaf Loss

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
CALGARY (Canadian Press) -- Doug Gilmour's return to the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup Thursday night didn't last very long.

The veteran centre suffered a knee injury 1:24 into the second period when he collided with Calgary Flames winger Dave Lowry and did not return.

General manager and coach Pat Quinn said Gilmour suffered a knee injury and definitely will not play Saturday in Vancouver against the Canucks.

"It doesn't feel good for him, and obviously it would be a shame if this sort of (extended absence) happened," said Quinn. "We have him come here to give us help in a crucial time and he may not be able to do it."

Gilmour, who was not available for comment, left the Pengrowth Saddledome with the team, but Quinn said the former Leafs captain may return to Toronto for an evaluation.

Everyone is hoping Killer gets back quickly.
Graig Abel Photography
"We just hope it's not so bad that it's going to leave us without him (heading into the playoffs)," said Quinn. "It was an accident, but it's bad."

To add insult to Gilmour's injury, the Leafs lost 4-3 on Chris Clark's winner 4:30 into overtime. It was Toronto's fourth loss in the past six games.

A hush went over the crowd as Gilmour, a former Flame, crawled to the Leafs bench after he and Lowry crashed into each other in the neutral zone, locked legs and fell to the ice.

"To tell you the truth, I was surprised by the whole collision," said Lowry.

It looked like Gilmour and Lowry's legs became intertwined as they both fell in a heap.

"All I know is the puck was coming across the blue-line," said Lowry. "I reached to keep the puck in and threw it back down low. I was skating backwards and I had no idea where he was -- or whatever.

"The next thing I know, we're both lying on the ice, and he's on top of me."

Gilmour played four minutes 51 seconds in his first game with Toronto since the Leafs acquired him prior to Tuesday's trade deadline from the Montreal Canadiens for a sixth round draft choice.

After the collision, he stood up briefly in the players' bench area, moved his legs back and forth, and sat down again. But a few minutes later, he disappeared into the Leafs' dressing room -- done for the night and at least one more game.

The former Leafs captain, who last played for Toronto in the 1996-97 season, had started the game on a line with close friend Tie Domi and Nik Antropov.

Late in the first period, Gilmour played alongside Mats Sundin and Jonas Hoglund.

Sundin, the current Leafs captain, set up Gilmour for an excellent scoring chance, sending the 39-year-old a beautiful pass from the corner.

But Gilmour fanned on the puck while attempting to one-time it past Calgary goaltender Roman Turek.

Gilmour did not record a shot in the game.

His departure disappointed Toronto fans who were in abundance at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

A sea of blue and white drowned out the Flames' red and white as fans in every section -- from the most expensive rinkside seats to the cheapest nosebleeds -- sported Leafs jerseys.

Names on the back of the sweaters ranged from Gilmour to Palmateer -- a reference to former goaltender Mike Palmateer, who played for Toronto in the 1970s and early '80s.

Quinn didn't have to decide on which veteran would sit out because of Gilmour's arrival as leading scorer Alexander Mogilny was a late scratch.

"He left (Thursday) afternoon with my permission," said Quinn. "He had a personal matter to look after. I haven't talked to him since then."

Meanwhile, winger Gary Roberts remained out with a groin injury and winger Darcy Tucker sat out the fourth of a five-game suspension.

Earlier Thursday, Gilmour admitted to being nervous Wednesday night.

"I went to bed early, but I got up around 4:30 and then 6:30 (with) a little butterflies," said Gilmour.

After the skate, the 39-year-old centre still wasn't feeling quite right. He was hoping a good lunch and the usual afternoon nap would help him get his skating legs back.

"Emotionally, the last 48 hours has been tough for me," said Gilmour, who flew from Nashville to Montreal to Calgary in a two-day span. "You run on emotions here. ...

"Now, it's just going out and trying to get a feel or the new guys you're playing with in the next 12 games and just waiting to be tight with them."
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