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Anthony Cirelli called up by the Lightning

Forward prospects could make his NHL debut against Stars

Anthony Cirelli, welcome to The Show.

The Lightning forward prospect, called up from AHL Syracuse Thursday, made his debut against the Stars. Cirelli, 20, was in the starting lineup, his first shift against the top line of Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Alex Radulov line.

Cirelli, one of the team's top two-way forward prospects, got a rare recall for a first year pro, but his hockey sense is beyond his years.

"He's a smart player," coach Jon Cooper said. "I got to see him first hand in the AHL playoffs last year, how he handled himself. It was his first time in the American (Hockey) League, and to be able to go deep with the team and  have a prominent role, I said, 'Hopefully he can carry this on to this year with the team and he certainly has."

Cirelli replaced forward Michael Bournival, who was sent back to Syracuse. Both the Cirelli and Bournial callups were emergency ones, according to GM Steve Yzerman, so they won't count against the four allotted post-deadline recalls.

Cirelli, 20, has played 51 games for the Crunch this season, with 14 goals and 37 points. He's tallied six power play goals, leading Syracuse, and scored twice in the Crunch's 4-3 overtime victory over Toronto Wednesday.

Cirelli got the call because with Nikita Kucherov (upper body) missing his second straight game, Cooper said the Lightning wanted a forward who could play wing and center.

"Well deserved," Cooper said.