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Goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji has been called up by the Los Angeles Kings for a chance to become the first Japanese to play in the NHL.

The Kings announced Friday a decision to call up Fukufuji from the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League following an injury to one of their goaltenders during recent training.

Fukufuji is expected to make the Kings roster for their home game Saturday against the Dallas Stars.

The 24-year-old native of Kushiro, Hokkaido, signed a two-year contract with the Kings in 2005 and has since played for minor league teams in the Kings organization.

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