The Buffalo Sabres will have to play without their captain Jack Eichel for the next week or maybe longer.
Eichel will miss at least one week after suffering a neck/cervical injury Sunday when NY Islanders grinder Casey Cizikas took liberties with his stick on Eichel. There was no penalty called on the stick infraction.
Eichel was forced to sit out Tuesday night's shootout loss at the Flyers.
Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger updated Eichel's injury scenario after the 5-4 shootout loss in Philadelphia.
"Jack went back to Buffalo early. He's still being assessed. He'll be out minimum a week. We have an upper body situation that needs deeper analysis before we decide further."
The neck/cervical injury is Eichel's third health ailment that he is dealing with this season. Eichel also injured his right ankle/leg in a board battle with New Jersey forward Nico Hischier.
Eichel admittedly reported to training camp in Buffalo with another injury. Eichel said that he suffered the injury while working out before Sabres training camp opened. The injury forced Eichel to sit out the first few on ice sessions at Sabres' training camp in January.
With Eichel on the shelf, rookie Dylan Cozens replaced Eichel at first line center on Tuesday night. The trio of Cozens, Taylor Hall, and Samson Reinhart were Buffalo's top forward line. Reinhart scored twice in the loss to the Flyers. Cozens assisted on Reinhart's first goal.
The Sabres host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.