As a result of the Sabres losing Jack Eichel to injury plus Eric Staal and Curtis Lazar to trades, the Sabres were forced to put Sam Reinhart back at center, a position he hasn’t played at much over the last few seasons. As Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald points out, that position change has sparked the 25-year-old as he has 10 goals and five assists in 16 games since the move heading into tonight’s game against Boston. Reinhart is a restricted free agent for the final time this summer after avoiding arbitration last fall with a one-year, $5.2MM deal. That number represents his qualifying offer and if the team believes he can be a regular down the middle moving forward, he’d enter those contract discussions with a bit more leverage.
Elsewhere in the East:
- Capitals defenseman John Carlson was a late scratch for tonight’s game due to a lower-body injury, the team announced (Twitter link). He’s listed as day-to-day. Carlson is currently tied for second on Washington in scoring with 10 goals and 32 assists in 49 games. The Caps did get some good news on the back end though as Justin Schultz returned after missing three straight with a lower-body injury of his own.
- Boston blueliner Brandon Carlo is hoping to return next week, relays Eric Russo of the Bruins’ team website. It has been a rough couple of months for him; after returning from a concussion suffered on a hit from Washington’s Tom Wilson, he then suffered an upper-body injury in his second game back in April 1st and hasn’t played since. Carlo is averaging 18:29 per game this season in 23 contests.
- Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere is expected to return to practice on Friday and could be available to return as soon as Saturday, notes Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. He has missed two straight games (including tonight’s contest) with a sprained knee. After a rough first half of the season, he quietly has 11 points in his last 21 games.