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The Sabres' winning lottery numbers: 1-4-6-14

TORONTO -- 1-4-6-14.

Those were the numbers that came up first in the NHL Draft Lottery and may have changed the course of Buffalo Sabres' history.

Of the 1,001 combinations possible among the 14 lottery balls, that was combination No. 138 and it belonged to the Sabres. The league revealed the results of the lottery draw late Saturday night, and they showed that the Sabres actually won two of the three draws with their 185 combinations.

For the first overall pick, 1-4-6-14 gave Buffalo the right to choose Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin with the No. 1 pick on June 22 in Dallas. Carolina, which had only 3 percent odds of the No. 1 pick and 30 combinations, moved from No. 11 to No. 2 when 1-2-5-14 was drawn.

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Then things got jumbled. Combination 36 was drawn next -- a 1-2-6-12 quartet that also belonged to the Sabres. Since Buffalo had already won a pick, those numbers were returned to the hopper and a new combination was drawn. That was 4-5-6-8, which made a winner of Montreal.

The Sabres became the eighth team with the best odds to retain the No. 1 pick in the lottery and the second to do it in three years. The Toronto Maple Leafs won with the best odds in 2016 and selected Auston Matthews in the draft at KeyBank Center.

Other teams to win the lottery from the top spot were Edmonton (2010-Taylor Hall), the New York Islanders in 2009 (John Tavares), Tampa Bay in 2008 (Steven Stamkos), St. Louis in 2006 (Erik Johnson), Boston in 1997 (Joe Thornton) and Ottawa in 1996 (Chris Phillips).

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