Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul will miss three-to-four weeks after suffering a separated shoulder, the team announced on Wednesday afternoon. The injury occurred during the second period of Tuesday night's game against the Boston Bruins.
To replace Lupul in the lineup, the Leafs have called up Carter Ashton from the AHL's Toronto Marlies. Ashton, 20, was acquired by the Leafs at the Feb. 27 trade deadline in a deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He's yet to play an NHL game, but he has 37 points in 59 games with both the Marlies and the Norfolk Admirals in the AHL this season.
Lupul, 28, is among Leafs' leaders in scoring with 67 points on the season, just three fewer than Phil Kessel. The injury will no doubt hurt Toronto's chances at making a run towards the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Even with the most optimistic of outlooks, Lupul likely won't be in shape to return to the lineup until March 28, at which point there will only be five games remaining in the regular season.
Toronto currently sits in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, five points back of the No. 8-seed Winnipeg Jets.