Sore back sidelines Red Wings' Tomas Jurco

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News


Edmonton, Alberta — Tomas Jurco has been struggling to score goals, but now he's struggling with a sore back.

Jurco was held out of the third period of Tuesday's 4-2 victory over Edmonton because of back issues.

Coach Mike Babcock said after the game Jurco will not play Wednesday in Calgary.

"He's hurt, unavailable tomorrow," said Babcock after the game.

Jurco was limited to 7 minutes 2 seconds of playing time on 10 shifts against the Oilers, before the Red Wings sat him for precautionary reasons.

Jurco has two goals and 10 assists (12 points) in 37 games, and has an impressive plus-7 rating.

But the lack of goal-scoring has been puzzling, and especially frustrating for Jurco, who hasn't scored in 18 games his last goal Nov. 26 against Philadelphia.

With Jurco out in Calgary, Daniel Cleary or Joakim Andersson will return into the lineup.

Mrazek to start

Babcock said after the Edmonton victory Petr Mrazek will start against the Flames.

Mrazek hasn't played since Dec. 23, when he defeated the Sabres, and is 4-2-1 with a 2.35 goal-against average and .917 save percentage.

Backing up Jimmy Howard is a new role for the young goalie, but it's one Babcock expects Mrazek to adjust to until Jonas Gustavsson (shoulder) returns.

"I know in this league, when you get to start, you have to win or you don't get to start," Babcock said. "His job is to be a pro and be ready."

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