Eichel returns to practice

It was the first time Jack Eichel has skated with his team since suffering a high-ankle sprain on February 10

Brayton Wilson
March 13, 2018 - 1:06 pm

Photo: Paul Hamilton (@pham1717)

For the first time since suffering a high-ankle sprain on February 10 against the Boston Bruins, Jack Eichel was back on the ice with his teammates.

Eichel returned to practice on Tuesday at HarborCenter for the first time in four and a half weeks. He was a full participant in drills, and skated on a line with Zemgus Girgensons and Jason Pominville. Eichel was also working in on the first powerplay unit along with Evan Rodrigues, Ryan O'Reilly, Sam Reinhart and Rasmus Ristolainen.

The 21-year old was originally given a recovery timetable of four-to-six weeks for his ankle, and looks like he could return to the lineup as soon as Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Eichel has missed the last 14 games for the Sabres after scoring 22 goals and registering 53 points in the first 55 games of the season.

Rodrigues was also back on the ice after missing some time with an upper-body injury. He has not played since February 28 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. In 35 games this season, Rodrigues has six goals and 16 points to his credit. He was playing on the left wing on Tuesday at practice with Johan Larsson and Nick Baptiste.

Seth Griffith was also back on the ice for the Sabres this morning, but he was rotating with Jordan Nolan on a line with Benoit Pouliot and Jacob Josefson.

The Sabres also called up goalie Linus Ullmark from the Rochester Americans before practice on Tuesday. Ullmark was on the ice along with Chad Johnson and Robin Lehner at practice.

The 24-year old is coming off a 5-4 shootout win over the Syracuse Crunch on Sunday at Blue Cross Arena. In 42 games this season with the Amerks, Ullmark has posted a 20-11-4 record with a 2.44 goals-against average and a .923 save-percentage. Ullmark also has a win in his lone appearance with the Sabres this season, which was a 3-1 win over the Blue Jackets on January 11.

Here is how the lines, defense, and powerplay units looked at practice:


Wilson - O'Reilly - Reinhart

Girgensons - Eichel - Pominville

Rodrigues - Larsson - Baptiste

Pouliot - Josefson - Nolan (Griffith)


Scandella - Ristolainen

Guhle - Nelson

Beaulieu - Antipin

Gorges - Falk

PP1: Rodrigues - Eichel - Reinhart / O'Reilly - Ristolainen

PP2: Baptiste - Wilson - Pominville / Guhle - Scandella

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