There was a slightly scary moment in the waning moments of Kings' practice Sunday morning.
Kings forward Tyler Toffoli had a close call with the skate blade of a teammate, defenseman Jake Muzzin. It happened near the corner, just to the left to the net, in front of the area where the media usually assembles.
Toffoli was slow to get up but was uninjured, admitting later it was unnerving at first. Muzzin too was clearly concerned and made sure Toffoli was OK. The real sign that everything really was fine was when they could joke around about it in the dressing room.
"I kind of felt my blade hit his skate, it almost hit him in the skin area there," Muzzin said. "I felt a little flesh on my blade, so I eased up a bit.
"That would [stink]. I would not want to do that — he's our leading scorer, no?"
Indeed, the youngster does lead the Kings with 20 points and shares the team's goal-scoring lead with rookie left wing Tanner Pearson with 10 goals.
Gaborik, who has missed the last four games because of an upper-body injury, is hopeful he will be in action Tuesday at Buffalo against the Sabres. Left wing Kyle Clifford missed practice because of flu-type symptoms, according to Kings Coach Darryl Sutter.
Forward Andy Andreoff is on a conditioning assignment with the Kings' American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester, N.H., and has played in a couple of games with the Monarchs. Kings GM Dean Lombardi has been watching Manchester and Sutter planned on getting an updated evaluation later.
"If Gaborik isn't ready, then we'll bring Andy (Andreoff) back," Sutter said. "He [Clifford] was sick overnight, said go home, shut [it] down."
Sutter, meanwhile, downplayed the team's recent scoring woes.
"We're a high-scoring team in the playoffs," he said. "So it's not an issue with our team. It just goes right back to the balance of the group that doesn't get the credit. It's the (offensive-minded) guys … that haven't contributed as much this year. Hopefully they do.
"I'm not going to bang my head against the wall, trying to get superstars to contribute more. They've got to figure that out."