Kings hoping for a spark with Tyler Toffoli's return to lineup

Kings forward Tyler Toffoli will be back on the ice against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday

Kings forward Tyler Toffoli, who has missed six games because of mononucleosis, will be back in the lineup Wednesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks, according to Kings Coach Darryl Sutter.

This is the first game for the Kings following the All-Star break. With Calgary winning on Tuesday night against Buffalo, the Kings now are three points out of a playoff spot.

Toffoli was diagnosed with mono on Jan. 9 and was cleared for contact in practice after the All-Star break. He had 12 goals and 27 points in 41 games and was a plus-16.

The line of Tanner Pearson-Jeff Carter-Toffoli got off to a terrific start in October and dropped off shortly after the first month of the season. Pearson is expected to be out the rest of the regular season because of a broken leg.

Toffoli has scored three goals since Dec. 1.

“He had a tougher time from the middle of November to the middle of December where the numbers show that,” Sutter said. “It’s his first full year in the NHL … and he ran out of gas.

“A lot of them young guys do. They went [through] a long playoffs, as kids. And probably didn’t have as much training, didn’t put as much work in. And they came back excited and had a really good start, the kids, and they really leveled off. It was right around Christmas before he got going again.”

The recovery process from mono is often unpredictable. Toffoli said he has been pushing himself hard in practice but games are another matter.

“It’ll take him a bit to get up to speed,” Sutter said.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
59°