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Skinner replaced by Mittelstadt at practice on Sunday

Jeff Skinner Devils Sabres Hockey
Posted at 5:19 PM, Feb 21, 2021

NEWARK, N.J. (WKBW) — After praising Saturday's four-line effort after a 3-2 win against the New Jersey Devils, Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger has mixed up the bottom six. And forward Jeff Skinner was the odd man out at Sabres practice on Sunday.

Skinner was skating alongside Rasmus Asplund and Tage Thompson. Former first round pick Casey Mittelstadt joined Curtis Lazar and Riley Sheahan, which has typically been Skinner's slot in five-on-five action.

"The competitiveness within the group is something I like to promote," head coach Ralph Krueger said about the change. "You saw, you know, a potential change in the mix today. we won't confirm it until tomorrow, but it's how we function here."

Skinner's first season in Buffalo led to a 40-goal campaign and a long-term extension worth $9 million a season. After a subpar 2019-20 campaign, Skinner has yet to score and only has one assist in 2021.

"Obviously I'm going through a little bit of a slump, and it's not something I'm really used to," Skinner said. "It's just something that's not working and not going well right now, and I just have to work my way out of it."

Krueger didn't commit to taking Skinner out of the lineup for tomorrow night's tilt against the New York Islanders. But if Buffalo's skate in the Garden State is any indicator, Skinner might not get the chance to work out of it on Monday night.

"This is my 11th year... over 700 games, I don't think I've ever really needed a day off to re-look at things," Skinner said. "You just keep working, and put your head down, and that's what I'll do."

The Sabres start a stretch of five games in seven days when they play the Islanders tomorrow. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m.