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Eichel to return for Sabres against Hurricanes

Center missed three games with upper-body injury

by Heather Engel / Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Jack Eichel wiil return to the Buffalo Sabres lineup when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET, NHLN, FS-CR, MSG-B, NHL.TV).

The center, who has missed three games with an upper-body injury, was a full participant in the morning skate on Friday, taking line rushes with Jeff Skinner and Tage Thompson

Eichel, who leads Buffalo with 49 points (15 goals, 34 assists) in 40 games, said after practice on Thursday he was ready to return.

"I felt good today, back to 100 percent," he said. "I'm just excited for the game tomorrow.

"It's huge for our group. It's a tight race right now. You try not to look at the standings every day but it just seems like the teams in the Atlantic [Division] win every night. For us, it's about controlling what we can control, and that's our group and putting a good effort on the ice every night."

Skinner will play at the Hurricanes for the first time since Carolina traded him to the Sabres for forward Cliff Pu and three draft picks Aug. 2.

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