Buffalo Sabres’ Jack Eichel returns to practice for 1st time in a month

NHL News

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Sabres leading scorer Jack Eichel isn’t sure when he’ll be cleared to play after returning to practice for the first time since spraining his right ankle a month ago.

Eichel says he’d like to start playing as soon as possible. But he adds it’s premature to pick a specific game. He says the timetable will depend on his conditioning level and how his ankle responds to the lengthy on-ice session Tuesday.

The Sabres are off until Thursday, when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs. Buffalo sits last in the Eastern Conference standings and is all but mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

Eichel has been skating on his own for the past 10 days. He’s missed 14 games since he was hurt in a 4-2 win at Boston on Feb. 10.

Eichel still leads the Sabres with 22 goals and 53 points despite playing just 55 games.

The Sabres recalled goalie Linus Ullmark from the minors. Coach Phil Housley says the promotion is based on merit, and he plans to have Ullmark start in one of Buffalo’s upcoming games.

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