Gilmour hurt as Leafs fall to Flames
Doug Gilmour's second coming with the Toronto Maple Leafs was a short one. And a losing one.
Gilmour suffered a left leg injury 1:24 in the second period of Toronto's 4-3 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames before a crowd of 18,064 at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Thursday.
Asked if the feisty centre might be sidelined for an extended period, Leafs general manager and head coach Pat Quinn responded: "It doesn't feel good for him and, obviously, it would be a shame if this sort of thing happened. We have him come here to give us help in a crucial time and he may not be able to do it."
Making his much-anticipated return to the Leafs since being re-acquired from Montreal for a sixth-round draft pick prior to Tuesday's NHL trade deadline, Gilmour locked legs with Dave Lowry in a mid-ice collision.
Unable to regain his feet, the onetime Leafs captain -- and former Flame, to boot -- literally crawled to the bench on his hands and knees.
"To tell you the truth, I was surprised by the whole collision," Lowry said. "All I know is the puck was coming across the blue line.
"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."
When Gilmour failed to shake the pain at the bench, he departed for the dressing room and did not return.
He played eight shifts totalling 4:51, losing one faceoff.
"We just hope it's not so bad that it's going to leave us without him (come playoffs)," Quinn said. "It was an accident, but it's bad."
Chris Clark scored 4:30 into overtime to win it for Calgary, while Craig Conroy and Lowry each contributed one goal and one assist.
"I was going to give the puck back to Chris (Drury) because I thought he was going to beat the defenceman wide," Clark said. "But instead, he went to the net and the only opening and only shot available was where I shot it."
It was his 10th goal of the season.
Jarome Iginla also tallied for the Flames (24-32-10-4), whose season-high four-game winning streak ended with a 5-2 loss to Edmonton on Tuesday.
"It's a different atmostphere in here right now as we're not dwelling on every loss," Clark said. "Wins come, the confidence comes.
"But you have to keep playing the way you play to win to keep on your streak."
Roman Turek recorded 20 saves as Calgary outshot Toronto, 38-23.
"Now is the time of the year you don't like playing teams that, in theory, have nothing to lose because sometimes they play dangerous and you don't want your guys hurt at this time of year," Quinn said.
Bryan McCabe led the Leafs (38-26-5-2) with a goal and an assist.
Nik Antropov and Tie Domi also scored.
"Us, as a team, we've got to be more responsible," Leafs captain Mats Sundin said. "Tonight again, we took a large amount of penalties and, especially at one point, we were shorthanded having lost a couple of guys to injury and we kept going to the penalty box."
In addition to losing Gilmour, Toronto was missing top scorer Alexander Mogilny who, according to spokesman Dave Griffiths, was granted "permission to leave the team ... attending to a personal matter. It's a privacy issue."
"He left (Thursday) afternoon with my permission," Quinn confirmed. "He had a personal matter to look after.
"I haven't talked to him since then."
Moreover, Darcy Tucker's ongoing suspension and injuries to Gary Roberts and Mikael Renberg left the Leafs so shorthanded that fourth-line centre Travis Green wound up flanked by defencemen Wade Belak and Richard Jackman.
"I don't know if there was any point in the game when we actually had all four lines rolling and trying to get some momentum into the game," Sundin said.
The Flames, meanwhile, found themselves without Dean McAmmond, re-acquired from Colorado for a fifth-round draft pick prior to Tuesday's trade deadline.
It appears the trade violated an obscure clause in the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and NHL Players' Association, meaning McAmmond is prohibited from playing while the NHL reviews and rules on the transaction.
McCabe opened the scoring just 1:55 into the contest, blasting a slap shot by Turek for his fourth.
With Iginla distracting Kidd in front, Lowry threaded in his fourth to tie it 1-1 during a power play at 5:07.
"We constantly took penalties and made it very hard for ourselves," Sundin said. "And we have done that the last two weeks."
Antropov put Toronto ahead with the first shorthanded marker of his NHL career 5:15 into the second.
Forechecking in the high slot, he whisked Owen Nolan's tap-pass over Turek's shoulder for his 16th and a 2-1 lead.
Conroy countered by bursting in off right wing and slipping his 18th under Kidd to tie it 2-2 at 14:15 of the third.
Only 35 seconds later, Sundin trickled a shot through Turek that struck the goal post.
Lurking to Turek's left, Domi fought off defenceman Denis Gauthier long enough to slide home the rebound for a 3-2 lead.
It was Domi's 15th goal and 29th point this season, both career highs.
The Flames refused to fold, however, forcing overtime when Iginla stickhandled into the slot and buried his 31st into the top left corner with 3:32 remaining in regulation.
"Usually giving up a goal that late in the period, it's a heart breaker," Clark said. "But we came right back out and Iggy made an unbelievable play out of the corner to tie it."