The Sabres fell behind by three goals in the first period and never climbed all the way back in a 6-2 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.
Marco Scandella and Vladimir Sobotka scored goals for the Sabres, who saw a three-game winning streak come to an end. Carter Hutton, who entered the game undefeated at 6-0, made 18 saves.
Ryan Strome scored twice for the Rangers, who also received goals from Artemi Panarin, Brett Howden, Tony DeAngelo, and Chris Kreider. Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves.
The Sabres played the last period and a half without forward Jimmy Vesey, who left the game with an injury.
Video: BUF Recap: Scandella, Sobotka score in 6-2 loss
The Rangers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, the first two of which were products of giveaways by the Sabres.
Panarin stole the puck in the neutral zone and opened the scoring at 11:41 of the period. Howden capitalized on a misplay down low less than three minutes later, and Strome redirected a shot from Brady Skjei to add to the lead with just 37.8 seconds left in the period.
Each time the Sabres inched back, the Rangers responded. Scandella put the Sabres on the board at 4:17 of the second, but DeAngelo answered later in the period at the end of a long shift in the Buffalo zone.
Sobotka put the Sabres back within striking distance with his first goal of the season, scored with 48.9 seconds remaining in the period. They ran into penalty trouble early in the third, however, and Strome scored his second goal to restore the Rangers' three-goal lead at the 7:57 mark.
Kreider capped the scoring with 1:16 remaining.
What it means
The Sabres fall to 8-2-1 this season. As was the case with their last loss, in Anaheim on Oct. 17, they have less than 24 hours to think about it with another road game awaiting them in Detroit on Friday. Last time, they responded with a 3-0 win the next night in Los Angeles.
Vesey's status will be monitored in the meantime. The Sabres are traveling with a 13th forward in Evan Rodrigues, who has appeared in four games this season.
Roll the highlight film
Sobotka's first goal of the season began with a stretch pass from Rasmus Dahlin to Marcus Johansson, who kicked off a tic-tac-toe passing play on the rush.
Video: BUF@NYR: Sobotka sneaks wrister past Lundqvist
The Sabres are back at it tomorrow night in Detroit. Coverage on MSG begins at 7 p.m., or you can listen live on WGR 550. The puck drops at 7:30.