Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel won’t play the rest of the season because of a neck injury. The team said Wednesday that Eichel has a herniated disk and is expected to be healthy for the start of next season.

The 24-year-old center hasn’t played since March 7.

“He (was) playing through it,” interim coach Don Granato said after practice. “It’s not something you want exposed, obviously, because it’s such a competitive environment, so that’s information you don’t want the opponents to have, obviously, for his safety. It’s a bummer.”

Granato said he didn’t know if Eichel would need surgery, adding, “You hope for him to feel better every day and improve every day.”

Eichel had 18 points in 21 games before coming out of Buffalo’s lineup. The 2015 No. 2 pick and face of the beleaguered franchise is three seasons into an $80 million, eight-year contract that runs until 2026. The Sabres have lost 32 of 42 games this season and are in last place in the NHL. They’ve started to turn things around since Granato took over for fired coach Ralph Krueger and are 4-2-2 in their past eight games.

Buffalo is 4-11-4 in Eichel’s absence. The Sabres traded forwards Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar, defenseman Brandon Montour and third-string goaltender Jonas Johansson before the deadline.

“It’s tough,” teammate Sam Reinhart said of Eichel’s injury. “You just hope he recovers and comes back better from it.”

Eichel has 139 goals and 216 assists for 355 points in 375 regular-season games for Buffalo, which is well on its way to missing the playoffs for the 10th consecutive year.

STARS: High-scoring Dallas forward Alexander Radulov will not return this season because he needs surgery to repair a core muscle injury, and goaltender Ben Bishop won’t play at all.

Stars General Manager Jim Nill said Radulov is expected to be fully recovered for the 2021-22 season. Radulov was limited to only 11 games this season because of a lower-body injury.

Bishop, the former UMaine star who hasn’t played any games after twice having knee surgery last year, will not play this season. Nill said the move will allow Bishop time to continue his rehabilitation and return to full health for the start of 2021-22.

Radulov hasn’t played since March 18, and Nill had said earlier this week that the forward would see a specialist before a long-term decision was made on his playing status. The Stars didn’t say when the surgery would be done. In his 11 games, Radulov had 12 points (four goals, eight assists) and a plus-9 rating.

Radulov has one season left on his five-year deal, while Bishop has two seasons left on a six-year deal he signed with the Stars.

ISLANDERS: The New York Islanders and forward Collin Adams agreed to a two-year, two-way contract beginning in 2021-22.

Adams completed a four-year career at North Dakota this past season, setting career highs in goals (14), assists (20) and points (34) in 29 games. The 22-year-old ranked second on the Fighting Hawks in each of those categories and led all players on the team with a plus-22 rating.

Adams was selected by the Islanders in the sixth round of the 2016 draft.

CAPITALS: Forward Conor Sheary re-signed with the Capitals for two years and $3 million.

The 28-year-old Sheary is fourth on the Capitals with 11 goals this season, including 10 in five-on-five play.

WEDNESDAY’S GAMES

WILD 5, COYOTES 2: Mats Zuccarello scored twice and Nick Bonino had a goal and two assists as Minnesota won at home.

Both of Zuccarello’s goals came on Minnesota’s resurgent power play, which converted all three of its opportunities in the game. The Wild have 12 power-play goals in their past seven games.

JETS 3, SENATORS 2: Mathieu Perreault and Trevor Lewis scored third-period goals as visiting Winnipeg Jets rallied for a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.

Mark Scheifele also scored for Winnipeg, which earned its fourth win in five games and avenged a 4-2 loss to Ottawa on Monday night.

Laurent Brossoit was in goal for Winnipeg after Connor Hellebuyck had made seven straight starts. Brossoit finished with 27 saves.

Josh Norris and Nick Paul scored for Ottawa.

FLAMES 4, CANADIENS 1: Mark Giordano had a goal and an assist, Jacob Markstrom stopped 26 shots and Calgary won at Montreal.

Noah Hanafin, Josh Leivo and Sean Monahan also scored, and Chris Tanev had two assists. The Flames have won three straight to pull four points behind the Canadiens for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division, though Montreal has three games in hand.

Brett Kulak scored for the Canadiens, who have lost 4 of 5. Jake Allen had 30 saves.

AVALANCHE 4, BLUES 3: Mikko Rantanen and J.T. Compher each had a goal and an assist as visiting Colorado won its fourth straight.

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Brandon Saad also scored, and Liam O’Brien had a pair of assists for Colorado, which improved to 17-1-2 since March 10, setting a mark for the best 20-game stretch in franchise history.

Devan Dubnyk made 31 saves in his Avalanche debut after being acquired from San Jose on Saturday.

Mike Hoffman had two goals and an assist, Vince Dunn scored, and Jordan Binnington made 24 saves for the Blues, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.


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