(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of teams simply winding down their seasons meet Monday in Buffalo when the basement-dwelling Sabres host the Carolina Hurricanes at First Niagara Center.
The Sabres are nearing the end of another difficult season and will likely end 2014-15 at the bottom of the league standings for a second straight time. Buffalo has 52 points -- the same amount it had in 82 games last season -- and is four behind the Arizona Coyotes, who are second-from-last in the league. Both teams have three games remaining in the regular season
Of course, the team with the fewest points has the best odds of getting the No. 1 overall pick at this summer's draft. Still, despite finishing last in 2013-14, the Sabres wound up with the No. 2 pick after Florida won the draft lottery.
Carolina has 69 points on the season and is last in the Metropolitan Division.
The Hurricanes are coming off a win on Saturday when they halted a three-game slide with a 3-2 win over visiting Philadelphia. Nathan Gerbe and Chris Terry scored in the shootout to lift Carolina to just its third win in 10 games.
Jordan Staal and Elias Lindholm lit the lamp in regulation for the Hurricanes, while Cam Ward made 21 saves.
"It was nice to get the win," Staal said.
Carolina is 11-23-4 as the visiting team and hopes to end a three-game road slide tonight. The Hurricanes will play three straight away from home before hosting Detroit in their season finale on Saturday.
Buffalo has lost two straight following a two-game win streak and is 3-11-3 over its last 17 games.
The Sabres were blanked by the New York Islanders on Saturday, as Jaroslav Halak made 21 saves to post a shutout in New York's 3-0 home win.
Andrey Makarov made his NHL debut for the Sabres and the 21-year-old goaltender stopped 33 shots in a losing effort.
"He acted like a very mature guy here tonight," said Sabres coach Ted Nolan. "He went in and did his job very well."
Buffalo will finish the season by playing two of three at home. The Sabres will visit Columbus on Friday before ending 2014-15 with Saturday's home test against Pittsburgh.
Carolina has won two of three and six of the last eight meetings versus the Sabres. The 'Canes also have four victories over the past six encounters at First Niagara Center.