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BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Buffalo Sabres are in last place. And many of their fans are openly rooting for the standings to stay that way.
"Lose!" yelled Sabres season-ticket holder Doug Borsuk during a recent home game.
Though the Sabres don't ascribe to the sentiment, the down-is-up mentality has taken hold in Buffalo. The fans' objective has become for Buffalo to bottom out to get the best chance at landing one of two highly touted draft prospects: centers Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel.
Under NHL rules, only the last-place team is guaranteed drafting first or second.
With two-and-a-half weeks left, the chances of Buffalo (20-46-7) finishing last hinge heavily on a two-game set against 29th-place Arizona (22-44-8). The teams, separated by five points, play at Buffalo on Thursday and at Arizona on Monday.