Joffrey Lupul and Nazem Kadri are stall mates in the Leafs’ dressing room, which is fitting since they both currently find themselves sitting in the team’s doghouse.
Kadri was a healthy scratch for a second game Wednesday night for disciplinary reasons and will miss a third game Friday.
Interim head coach Peter Horachek chose to bench Lupul during the Leafs’ 4-3 shootout victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
Lupul, who has just two assists and no goals in 16 games, had a costly turnover in the second period, which led to the Sabres’ second goal of the game.
Lupul played the final 1:32 of the second period, but watched the first 12:09 of the third period and did not play in overtime.
“I think Joffrey turned the puck over a few times and he let the guy go on the back-check going back to the net, gave him a chance,” said Horachek outlining the reasons for Lupul’s benching. “The guy could’ve scored, he basically shot it wide and hit the side of the net.
“There was two, three, four things that I didn’t think was up to his standards. Tonight I didn’t think that he was on top of his game.”
Lupul was dropped from his line alongside Peter Holland and Richard Panik to the fourth line. David Booth replaced Lupul on Toronto’s second power play unit.
Lupul, who averaged 15:44 in ice time this season entering Wednesday’s game, finished with 13:09 in time on ice.