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Eichel returns to Sabres’ lineup, records point in his 18th consecutive game


BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 21: Jack Eichel #9 of the Buffalo Sabres controls the puck against Blake Lizotte #46 of the Los Angeles Kings during an NHL game on December 21, 2019 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Sara Schmidle/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Because he sat out a game on Thursday night the NHL no longer recognizes Jack Eichel’s point streak as an “official” point streak, ending it after 17 consecutive games.

That is incredibly unfair, but it is what it is.

All that is left to do now is continue counting how many consecutive games Eichel tallies a point in -- when he plays -- as long as he continues to do it. And in his return to the lineup on Saturday afternoon he was able to do just that by adding an assist on Victor Olofsson’s empty-net goal during Buffalo’s 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings, giving him at least one point in the past 18 games that he has played.

The only other Sabres player to do that was Gilbert Perrault during the 1971-72 season.

This same technicality on missed games ending an official point streak also interrupted a point streak for Taylor Hall. During his 2017-18 MVP season Hall recorded a point in 26 consecutive appearances, only to not have it count as an official “streak” because he missed a game during it.

Even more important for the Sabres is the fact they finally got back in the win column. Saturday’s game snapped what had been a three-game losing streak as the Sabres had quickly fallen down the standings. They entered the weekend 22nd in the NHL in points percentage and 10th among Eastern Conference teams. The mediocrity of the Atlantic Division behind Boston has been the biggest thing keeping them in the playoff hunt for the past two months.

More Eichel news:

Eichel’s point streak officially ends at 17 games
Stunning numbers on Eichel’s streak

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.