For the first time ever, an NHL team will finish 31st. The Buffalo Sabres have clinched the dubious distinction.
With Wednesday's 4-2 loss to Ottawa, the last-place Sabres can't catch any of the teams ahead of them. Buffalo fell to 25-43-12 and remained at 62 points. The 30th-place Senators moved to 67 points with only two games remaining for both teams.
Buffalo can reach only 66 points with wins in the final two games.
The Sabres' late-season slide continued. They are 2-7 in the last nine games. After dropping the home finale, Buffalo finished 11-25-4 in KeyBank Center this season.
That was quick: Just 30 seconds after the puck dropped, Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly took a no-look pass from Scott Wilson and scored on a breakaway. It was the earliest fans got to cheer a goal in Buffalo this season, bettering Justin Bailey's goal exactly one minute in Oct. 20 versus Vancouver.
Short-lived lead: The Senators answered just 2:26 later as Max McCormick tipped a point shot by Mark Borowiecki.
Visitors on top: A crazy carom off the boards bounced to Matt Duchene in the high slot, and the Senators' goal-scoring leader didn't miss. His one-timer sailed into the top corner for his 27th goal of the season.
From the dot: The Sabres gave Ryan Dzingel time to pick his spot from the right faceoff dot, and the Ottawa forward calmly picked the far post. He bounced the puck home off the iron, putting the Sabres in a 3-1 hole with 3:21 off the clock in the second period.
Paying the price: It's hard work screening the goaltender. Evan Rodrigues happily found out, standing in front of Craig Anderson as Kyle Okposo scored his 14th of the season. Rodrigues got leveled just as the puck found the net, but Buffalo pulled within 3-2 with 3:19 remaining in the second.
Sealing it: Alexandre Burrows scored into an empty net with 38.6 seconds to play to put the Sabres away.
Most Valuable Player: The Sabres players voted center Jack Eichel as their MVP for the 2017-18 season. Eichel leads the team in goals and points despite missing 15 games with an ankle sprain.
Rookie of the Year: The players voted defenseman Victor Antipin as their Rookie of the Year. Antipin, who is out with a multitude of injuries suffered Saturday in Nashville, has no goals, 10 assists and a minus-9 rating in his first season in North America.
Unsung Hero: The players voted forward Zemgus Girgensons as their Unsung Hero. Girgensons, who took a puck to the face March 23, underwent season-ending facial surgery Wednesday. He had been wearing a face shield. The forward finished with seven goals, eight assists and a minus-12 rating in 71 games
Charity honor: Buffalo named defenseman Zach Bogosian as the Sabres Foundation Man of the Year for his charitable work through the Bogo Bunch.
Fan of the Year: The organization named season ticket-holder Michael Moskal as the Fan of the Year. The Sabres ran a contest in which backers demonstrated their fanhood in written or video submissions on the team website.
Still day-to-day: Goaltenders Robin Lehner (lower body) and Linus Ullmark (concussion) didn't take part in the morning skate and missed the game. They remain day-to-day, coach Phil Housley said.
Sitting: Forwards Benoit Pouliot and Kevin Porter, and defensemen Josh Gorges and Matt Tennyson were the healthy scratches.
Lacking star power: The Senators played without defenseman Erik Karlsson and forward Marian Gaborik, and forward Bobby Ryan left with a first-period injury.
Counting the house: The Sabres announced 18,919 tickets sold for their 19,070-seat arena on Fan Appreciation Night.
Next: The Sabres play their penultimate game of the season Friday in Tampa Bay, and they close the year Saturday night in Florida.