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Sharpen Up: All the Sabres news you need to know on January 27, 2020

Skinner could return to the lineup tomorrow night

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Buffalo Sabres are back from the bye week and ready to get back to work. 

They practiced yesterday, will skate again today, and will go up against the Ottawa Senators tomorrow night at KeyBank Center

Buffalo could have a healthy Jeff Skinner back for that game as well.

Here's what you need to know.

 

Sunday's practice

Video: Jeff Skinner returns to practice

From the Ice Level Practice Report…

When the Buffalo Sabres took the ice at LECOM Harborcenter on Sunday, they were joined by forward Jeff Skinner, who has been out for nearly a month due to an upper-body injury. 

Skinner was a welcome addition to Buffalo's first practice following their bye week. He's missed 10 games since colliding with Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak in front of the Buffalo bench on Dec. 27.

He is now listed as day-to-day.

Video: Ralph Krueger after Sunday's practice

"His re-entry will be exciting for us," Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. "It gives us more depth in scoring and more offensive punch. We look forward to him just stepping right back in where he left off."

Buffalo's next game is Tuesday night when they host the Ottawa Senators at KeyBank Center. Faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. with pregame coverage on MSG starting at 6:30. 

Read more here.

 

All-Star Weekend rewind

Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: Thank you for a great weekend, St. Louis! ������#NHLAllStar | @NHL pic.twitter.com/HSl0W6e92J

Jack Eichel was not at practice because he was traveling back from St. Louis, where he represented the Sabres during the NHL's All-Star Weekend. Sabres.com was on the scene with full coverage. Here are some of the highlights:

From Saturday's All-Star Game Recap…

Jack Eichel tallied a combined four assists, but the Atlantic Division fell to the Pacific Division, 5-4, in the final matchup of the 2020 NHL All-Star Game at Enterprise Center on Saturday. 

Eichel had three assists in the Atlantic's 9-5 victory over the Metropolitan Division, then added another in the tightly contested final matchup. His competitiveness showed afterward, with postgame comments reflecting a combination of appreciation for the moment and disappointment with the result.

 "It was good," Eichel said. "Obviously, it sucks to lose, but it was a fun experience."

Video: Eichel preps for NHL All-Star Game

With $1 million in prize money awarded to the winning team, the intensity picked up in the final. Eichel assisted on a Victor Hedman goal to open the scoring just 24 seconds in, splitting a pair of defenders as he collected the puck behind the net and then feeding David Pastrnak, who passed across to the defenseman. 

The Atlantic went into the second period with a 3-1 lead, which was quickly erased by goals from Vancouver's Elias Pettersson and Edmonton's Leon Draisaitl. The two teams traded goals to make it 4-4 late, until San Jose forward Tomas Hertl broke the tie with 2:36 remaining.

"Both teams were playing pretty hard," Eichel said. "I mean, there's money on the line. Everyone's competitive."

Tweet from @IanSabresPR: Jack enters the final tied with Rick Martin for the most career All-Star Game points as a Sabre.(I know, I know.) https://t.co/sT88fBFkUI pic.twitter.com/7fKncPzX23

Eichel's four-point day moved him ahead of Rick Martin to claim the franchise record for most All-Star Game points as a Sabre. Eichel now has eight in three games. Martin had seven in seven appearances. 

Video: Eichel after the All-Star Game

Check out a photo gallery of the weekend's action here.

The Sabres captain also took part in the NHL Skills competition on Friday

Video: Eichel arrives at All-Star Skills Competition

Eichel posted a personal-best time of 13.540 seconds but finished fourth in the Bridgestone Fastest Skater Competition at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Friday. 

Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: Mark it - 13.54 seconds! #NHLAllStar | @JackEichel15 pic.twitter.com/Dl41HFzxBX

It was his third straight year competing in the event. He finished second last year with a time of 13.582 after placing third the season prior. 

"It's my last year, maybe," Eichel said with a smirk.

New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal won the event with a time of 13.175 seconds, falling .003 seconds shy of Dylan Larkin's record. Connor McDavid, who won the past three events, finished second with a time of 13.215. 

Though he had another year of experience under his belt, Eichel said his strategy was the same. 

"It's the same thing," Eichel said. "You just try and get loose before it. Same thing, I feel like I had a good first half and maybe not the best second half."

Check out more from All-Star Weekend here:

Video: Eichel on All-Star Weekend

Video: Fellow All-Stars talk Eichel's ability


Oh, Jenna Fischer was there too:
Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: BEESLY!!#NHLAllStar pic.twitter.com/R9vwTTvHSY
 

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