The Sabres celebrated Kids Day on Monday. Don't blame the children if they became fans of the New Jersey Devils.
There was virtually no reason to cheer for Buffalo.
The kids in attendance received free ice cream samples, and the Devils got free passes to the Buffalo net. It was an ugly outing for the home team, which fell to 0-2-1 with a 6-2 beatdown in KeyBank Center.
One of the loudest cheers from the crowd came when the announcer said one minute remained in the second period. The people were happy they wouldn't have to watch anymore.
Period to Forget, Part I: It didn't take long for some fans to show their displeasure. The Sabres retreated to the dressing room for the first intermission with light boos coming from the crowd. Buffalo was in a 2-0 hole and took just six shots.
Period to Forget, Part II: The boos rained down from everywhere after 40 minutes. They were as loud as they were deserved.
Buffalo gave up four goals during the second period, including its fourth short-handed goal in just three games. The Devils scored on odd-man rushes and open looks to take a 6-1 lead.
Dubious tie: The Sabres allowed four short-handed goals in 82 games last season. They gave up their fourth with 5:23 gone in the second, allowing the Devils to take a 3-1 lead.
It was a killer. It came just 21 seconds after a spirited drive and power-play goal by Evander Kane, who drew another penalty on the play. Instead of possibly tying it, 2-2, the Sabres were soon down by two goals. The Devils poured it on.
Merciful pull: Sabres goaltender Chad Johnson started for the first time this season, but he played just the first two periods before giving way to Robin Lehner. Johnson gave up six goals on 22 shots, but Dominik Hasek wouldn't have had much luck, either. The Sabres' defensive play was nonexistent.
Soccer style: The Devils opened the scoring on a header by Stefan Noesen. Johnson made pad and blocker saves on Brian Gibbons, but the Devils forward got the puck again. He banked a pass of Noesen's noggin with 6:28 gone.
Keep that puck: Nico Hischier made the first point of his NHL a memorable one. The No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft led Marco Scandella behind the net, then abruptly hit the brakes to lose the Sabres defenseman. Hischier went back in his original direction and fed Gibbons for a goal from point-blank range.
Brief glimmer: Kane knocked the puck away from Steven Santini, fought off the defender's slash and scored his third goal of the season on a scintillating drive.
New Jersey's Adam Henrique fed Jesper Bratt on a two-on-one just 21 seconds later, and the Sabres' momentum was gone.
Beaulieu throws: First, Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu tossed the puck away to Taylor Hall, who fed Marcus Johansson for an easy goal to make it 4-1.
Then, Beaulieu tossed a ton of rights at the skull of forward Miles Wood in a fight. Beaulieu took out his frustration on the Buffalo native, and he had a lot of frustration.
Two more for good measure: Hall faked a shot and fed a wide-open Bratt in the slot for an easy redirect to make it 5-1. Bratt set up the next goal, feeding Johansson on a two-on-one with 1:04 to play in the second.
Kane again: Kane scored his second of the game and fourth of the season with 2:57 left to make it 6-2.
Stafford sits: Devils forward and former Sabres right wing Drew Stafford was out with a lower-body injury. With forward Kyle Palmieri also injured, the Devils used 11 forwards and seven defensemen.
Counting the house: The Sabres announced a crowd of 17,967, but most were long gone by the time it ended.
Next: The Sabres' next four games are in the Pacific time zone. They play Thursday night in San Jose, followed by trips to Los Angeles, Anaheim and their inaugural game in Las Vegas.