New Valentine's mate for Kessel

During practice on Monday, the struggling Maple Leafs forward Phile Kessel (centre), was on a line...

During practice on Monday, the struggling Maple Leafs forward Phile Kessel (centre), was on a line with Joffrey Lupul (right), who switched to the left wing, and centre Tyler Bozak (left). (QMI AGENCY)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:00 PM ET

TORONTO - Phil Kessel got a brand new linemate for Valentine’s Day.

During practice on Monday, the struggling Maple Leafs forward was on a line with Joffrey Lupul, who switched to the left wing, and centre Tyler Bozak.

“Phil is the one who has to work his way out of this,” Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. “There is only so much you can do to help him in terms of playing with different people. He has to go earn his chances and dig in and help in other ways until the puck goes in the net.”

Kessel and Lupul have not played together in Lupul’s brief time in Toronto.

The Leafs play in Boston against the Bruins on Tuesday night, and you have to think Kessel would love nothing more than to score against the club that traded him to Toronto.

But though Kessel has gone 14 games without scoring a goal — the longest drought in his career is 15 games, done during his NHL rookie season with the Bruins — the 23-year-old used a standard comment to describe the game.

“Just another game,” Kessel said. “We need the points right now and it will be a tough battle. Teams always change lines up, so you have to find chemistry with everyone and I think we will be fine.

“Right now, it is a tough stretch to say the least. I have to be better and find a way to put them in the net.”

The top line of Mikhail Grabovski between Clarke MacArthur and Nikolai Kulemin was reunited.

Captain Dion Phaneuf did not practise, but said later it was nothing more than a maintenance day and he will play against the Bruins. Against Montreal on Saturday night, Phaneuf took a shot off the leg.

“That had to do with it, but it’s more just maintenance,” Phaneuf said. “Nothing major at all. We have lots of hockey and I needed to take one more day to get ready for this week.”

Forward Mike Brown (shoulder) practised for approximately 20 minutes, but is not close to returning.

Wilson said he did not have updates on Colby Armstrong (blurred vision) or Colton Orr (concussion).

And the coach said he had not decided whether James Reimer or Jean-Sebastien Giguere will start in goal versus the Bruins. The one who does not, Wilson said, will get the start on Wednesday night in Buffalo versus the Sabres.

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