As if things aren’t bad enough for the Sabres, they will be without Jack Eichel for at least the next week. The Buffalo captain missed Tuesday’s 5-4 shootout loss to the Flyers with an upper-body injury.
According to head coach Ralph Krueger, Eichel is back in Buffalo for evaluation.
“We have an upper-body situation that needs some deeper analysis before we decide further,” Krueger said after Tuesday’s game. “He’s definitely out a minimum a week and has been back in Buffalo.”
It’s been a rough season for Eichel, who has just two goals in 21 games. He entered the year injured, then hurt his leg last month against the Devils. A Casey Cizikas crosscheck on Sunday left the him feeling the effects of his on the bench.
Four of the Sabres’ next five games are at home against the Penguins, Capitals and Bruins.
No timetable for Pietrangelo’s return
Alex Pietrangelo was injured blocking a shot during Saturday’s win over San Jose and appeared to favor his hand. The defenseman would sit out Monday’s loss to the Wild.
While it’s unknown when he’ll return to the lineup, head coach Peter DeBoer didn’t sound too worried.
“Obviously not a great sign that he returned home for evaluation,” he said. “I’m not concerned it’s long, long-term, but he’s out for the foreseeable future.”
The Golden Knights finish up a six-game road trip Saturday in St. Louis before heading home for two games against the Sharks.
Vegas has already been without Brayden McNabb since the end of January.
“It’s the reality of the NHL in a normal year, particularly in a condensed schedule like this year,” DeBoer said. “You look around and everyone’s got pieces moving in and out.”
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Lower-body injury sidelines Kuemper
It’ll be the Antti Raanta and Adin Hill show in Arizona with Darcy Kuemper out injured. The veteran netminder was hurt during their win over the Avalanche Monday.
“They’re gonna hold the fort for us,” head coach Rick Tocchet said Tuesday, who added Kuemper is “week-to-week.”
Arizona sits fifth in the West Division in points percentage (.540) through 25 games. They play the second of their two-game series with Colorado Wednesday night before heading to Minnesota for a three-game series with the Wild. The Coyotes play every other day for the remainder of the road trip, which finishes up in Anaheim, before a back-to-back at home against the Avalanche.
The Coyotes will need to rely on Raanta and Hill before Kuemper gets back.
“We’re going to play a ton of games and we’re going to have to manage it, and we’re going to have to get [Hill] ready to play some games for us,” Tocchet said. “We’ll make sure ‘Rants’ gets his rest because I’m not sure we can play him six, seven games in a row with the schedule we’re in.”
• Tomas Hertl is back with the Sharks after being placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols list Feb. 24. Also back is Timo Meier, who skated on a line with Hertl and Rudolph Balcers. The trio are expected to reunite Friday against the Ducks.
• Robin Lehner is on his way back to the Golden Knights. The netminder will begin a conditioning loan with their AHL affiliate in Henderson this week. He’s been out since Feb. 7 with an upper-body injury, missing the last 13 games.
• There’s no return in sight just yet for Teuvo Teravainen. Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour said the forward is “still a ways away” from being back as he deals with concussion symptoms, while adding Teravainein “doesn’t feel ready.”
Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.