SPORTS

Joffrey Lupul cleared to play for Leafs on Wednesday

12/11/2013 12:08 EST | Updated 02/10/2014 05:59 EST
The Toronto Maple Leafs will get a key member of their offence back Wednesday night but he might not get the chance to shoot on a former teammate.

On Wednesday morning, Team doctors medically cleared Joffrey Lupul to return from a groin injury against the visiting Los Angeles Kings after missing seven games.

"I think I am ready to play," Lupul told reporters Tuesday after practising on a line with centre Peter Holland and Nikolai Kulemin.

"If I was in a situation where I can't come in and make an impact in the game, it's probably the right decision to take more time off, but I feel I am at that point now [where he can be a factor]."

Lupul suffered a Grade 2 groin strain in a 6-0 loss to Columbus on Nov. 25 while battling for position in the corner with Blue Jackets defenceman Ryan Murray.

The 30-year-old Lupul has eight goals and 15 points in 22 games this season.

He also missed two games in late October with a bruised foot.

"We believe Lupes can come in and give us that skating ability, that forechecking ability, leadership," Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle told reporters. "I don't want him to come out and try to do too much, because that usually leads to over-exuberance."

Lupul might be taking shots on Martin Jones in Wednesday’s game and not one-time Maple Leafs netminder Ben Scrivens.

Jones blanked Montreal on 30 shots Tuesday for his second shutout in three NHL games, becoming the first to achieve the feat since Robbie Moore for the Philadelphia Flyers in 1976.

With his third victory in as many starts, the 23-year-old from North Vancouver, B.C., lowered his goals-against average to 0.65 while raising his save percentage to .973.

Scrivens has also fared well in the absence of Kings No. 1 goalie Jonathan Quick, going 6-1-3 with a 1.47 GAA.

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