A four-goal first period for the Sabres ultimately spelled doom for the Caps in a 4-2 loss Monday.
Jason Pominville, Matt Ellis, Christian Ehrhoff and Brayden McNabb scored in the first period - twice on the power play - to chase Michal Neuvirth (three goals on six shots) and put the game out of reach.
Matt Hendricks' first goal of the season late in the second period and Alex Ovechkin's power play goal midway through the third period made the game look respectable, but the score was not indicative of the Caps' overall effort.
The loss drops the Caps to 6-10-1 on the road. Those 13 points are second-fewest in the Eastern Conference.
Washington will have another chance to redeem themselves against Buffalo Friday at Verizon Center, but before that, they will have to face the New York Rangers Wednesday at home.