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Eichel full participant at practice, could play Tuesday in Ottawa

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Eichel’s return is any day now, and it could be as soon as tomorrow.

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

For weeks, Buffalo Sabres fans have longed to see the team’s franchise center take the ice. As soon as tomorrow, that wait could be over.

Eichel centered a line with Evander Kane and Sam Reinhart at practice today, and was on the top power play unit - a big indication that he could be playing tomorrow night against the Ottawa Senators.

Both Eichel and Sabres coach Dan Bylsma played coy after practice, with neither confirming that the young center will play tomorrow night, though Bylsma did note that the team would call someone up from Rochester if Eichel was unable to play.

Here’s what the coach had to say after practice, from Sabres.com:

“Jack looks good on the ice," Bylsma said. "I thought yesterday was a bigger test for him … He responded well to it, came back this morning feeling good about it and today he looks real good, his skating's good, he's beating guys, stepping off guys, creating room and separation. Looks good to me.”

Should Eichel be able to go against Ottawa, the Sabres will be playing with their fully armed and operational top 9 forwards for the first time all season. Those lines sure look a lot better than they did a few games ago.

26 Matt Moulson - 90 Ryan O’Reilly - 21 Kyle Okposo

9 Evander Kane - 15 Jack Eichel - 23 Sam Reinhart

82 Marcus Foligno - 22 Johan Larsson - 12 Brian Gionta

48 William Carrier - 27 Derek Grant - 28 Zemgus Girgensons