Jeff Skinner has scored 29 goals this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres sniper Jeff Skinner elected to NHL All-Star Game

Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner will be playing for the Atlantic Division in the upcoming NHL All-Star Game.

Skinner, the NHL’s second-leading goal scorer with 29, earned a spot today as part of the “Last Men In” online voting the NHL conducted for the last week.

More than 11.5 million votes were cast, including more than 2 million Thursday, the final day of voting, according to the league.

Colorado Avalanche winger Gabriel Landeskog (Central Division), Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (Metropolitan) and Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl (Pacific) were also voted into game Jan. 26 in San Jose.

Skinner, who plays his old team, the Hurricanes, for the first time tonight in Carolina, was an all-star as a rookie in 2010-11.

Sabres captain Jack Eichel, Skinner’s center, was chosen for his second NHL All-Star Game last week. Eichel will return tonight after an upper-body injury sidelined him three games.

The Sabres haven’t had more than two NHL All-Stars since 2007, when center Daniel Briere, defenseman Brian Campbell and goalie Ryan Miller earned spots. Lindy Ruff also coached the Eastern Conference squad.

Update: To make room for Eichel, the Sabres have sent winger C.J. Smith, 24, back to the Rochester Americans. The rookie scored one goal in four games with the Sabres.

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