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Call-up by Kings a thrill for Toffoli

by Curtis Zupke

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Tyler Toffoli still looked like he was riding high when he came off the ice at the Los Angeles Kings' morning skate.

Toffoli got the call Sunday to join the defending Stanley Cup champions. His next National Hockey League game will be the first for Toffoli, a baby-faced center who turns 21 next month.

"I was pretty tired, so I tried to sleep, but I so was excited I couldn't really sleep [on the plane]," Toffoli said. "I just watched a movie that was playing -- "Silver Linings Playbook." I wasn't really thinking about it a whole lot. I'm just excited to get the opportunity to come here."

Toffoli's call-up spurned speculation that he was needed because of a possible lingering injury to Mike Richards, who was briefly knocked out of the game Saturday on a hit by Tim Jackman. Richards returned, and was back at practice Monday. Toffoli stayed out with the extras so it doesn't appear he will play when the Kings host the Calgary Flames on Monday night.

Coach Darryl Sutter indicated the move was to have another available forward to possibly boost the offense and to potentially push the regulars for playing time. The Kings had a roster spot open for Toffoli.

"We like young guys, and we have wingers that are still halfway into the year with one or no goals," Sutter said.

A second-round pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, Toffoli leads rookies and is second overall in the American Hockey League with 28 goals in 55 games with Manchester Monarchs. General manager Dean Lombardi has likened Toffoli to a player in the Luc Robitaille mold.

"I think I'm an offensive guy, I like to shoot the puck," Toffoli said. "Score goals and create a lot of offensive chances, and that's what I really try to [take] pride in, but at the same time I've been working really hard in all three zones and working on my entire game … I just want to stay here as long as I can."

Monday night's projected lineup for the Kings:

Dustin BrownAnze KopitarJustin Williams

Dustin PennerMike RichardsJeff Carter

Dwight KingJarret StollTrevor Lewis

Kyle CliffordColin FraserJordan Nolan

Jake MuzzinDrew Doughty

Rob ScuderiSlava Voynov

Alec MartinezKeaton Ellerby

Jonathan Quick

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Brad Richardson, Davis Drewiske, Tyler Toffoli

Injured: Matt Greene (back), Willie Mitchell (knee)

Quick came off the ice first and would start again in the second of a two-game set with Calgary. He was in goal for the 6-2 win Saturday and pushed his save percentage to .895 for the season.

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