Tyler Toffoli scored his first NHL goal in only his second game with the Kings and his name began trending on Twitter in his native Canada almost instantly. Kings fans celebrated the moment by giving the rookie forward a rousing standing ovation.
“It was incredible,” Toffoli said. “I didn’t expect that. I had goosebumps. It was a great feeling.”
You only score your first goal once and the 20-year-old Toffoli did it by blasting a loose puck past Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith for a power-play strike midway through the second period of the Kings’ 4-0 victory Monday night at Staples Center.
Toffoli celebrated with a scream and a couple of fist pumps. It was a big goal for him and for the Kings, who also got goals from rookie defenseman Jake Muzzin and veteran forwards Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter. Jonathan Quick made 27 saves for his 25th career shutout.
“The last game I had a couple of good chances, so that’s why I really wanted to put it in,” Toffoli said, referring to his NHL debut in Saturday’s victory over the San Jose Sharks. “I got a good bounce and (Jeff) Carter made a good play to me and I just shot it.”
The puck will soon be on its way to Toffoli’s parents, who also have the souvenirs of his first goals in the minor-league American Hockey League and the junior-level Ontario Hockey League. In fact, his first goals in the AHL and NHL came within only a few months of each other.
Toffoli was in his rookie season in the minors, too.
“That’s got to be pretty special,” Quick said of Toffoli’s first goal, which gave the Kings a 2-0 lead in the second period. “You’re happy for him that he’s able to get it. First of many.”