As the Sabres took the ice for practice Monday morning at Key Bank Center the status of a few key players was unknown.

Jack Eichel who has missed the past two games with an upper-body injury, joined Monday's practice late. Sam Reinhart did not take part in the practice and missed Sunday's skills contest as well. 

The Sabres are home Tuesday night against the New Jersey Devils.

While Eichel did return to practice with his teammates there's no decision on his availability for the Devils. Coach Phil Housley said after practice "I think those questions will be answered tomorrow. Him just getting the ok to come back and practice was a good sign so we'll know more tomorrow on that." 

Eichel who stayed on the ice long after his teammates were done with practice said he's being smart about his return. "At this point I think its taking it every day and seeing  how I feel. Its not a rush you don't want to put yourself in a bad position. You want to make sure you're comfortable in every situation that you put yourself in. Everything  I can do to try and help the team I want to do as soon as possible but with that being said you don't want to rush things and put yourself behind."

Eichel added not being able to play takes a toll on him. "You guys know me, I'm a competitive guy. It kills me to not be out there, it kills me not playing, it kills me not to be hanging out with these guys every day and competing so I think the hardest part about it is just the mental aspect."

Eichel has been listed as day to day since before last Thursday's Florida game. The Sabres have won one and lost one without their captain in the line. 

Housley said Sam Reinhart missed practice because he's sick. Forward Zemgus Girgensons returned to practice. He'd been out with an  upper body injury. Defenseman Zach Bogosian sat out practice with a maintenance day. 

Buffalo currently holds the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.