OTTAWA — For two periods, the Buffalo Sabres didn't have much going.
Then came the third. In a 3-0 hole, the Sabres quickly scored twice in the first four minutes and dominated the rest of the way.
But the team couldn't produce a win. Despite outshooting the Ottawa Senators, 48-32 — and 23-7 in the third period — Buffalo suffered a 4-2 loss Thursday night in Canadian Tire Centre.
The defeat dropped the Sabres to 0-1-2 in their last three games. Ottawa snapped an 0-3-1 slide.
Jason Pominville marked his 1,000th NHL game by scoring a minute into the third period, deflecting home a Jack Eichel shot for his sixth goal of the season and getting the Sabres within 3-1. Jeff Skinner made it 3-2 at 3:55, tipping home a Rasmus Ristolainen shot on the power play.
From there, it was a shooting gallery for Buffalo, but Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson held strong. He made 21 saves in the third period and could finally exhale once Bobby Ryan hit an empty net with 20 seconds left.
Special teams slumber: The Sabres had been 12 for 12 on the penalty kill in the last four games, but Ottawa went 2 for 5 on the power play in this game. Ottawa entered the game fifth in the NHL with the man-advantage at home at 31.7 percent.
Pominville following the team's morning meeting on playing No. 1,000: "It's a game. You go out there, you play, you have fun," Pominville said. "It's what you've always done. I think it will be special to have my family and friends here. That will be the cool part about it. It's what you've worked for your whole life. To be able to say you've played 1,000 games in the best league in the world is something I'll cherish forever."
Opening salvo: The Senators had nine of the game's first 10 shots on goal and opened the scoring at 8:55 of the first when Ryan Dzingel got two whacks of the puck on Hutton and drove home the second one with Marco Scandella in the penalty box for holding.
Mild rally: The Sabres got the shots on goal even through 20 minutes at 12-12. Their best opportunities didn't result in shots as Jack Eichel and Vladimir Sobotka both got in too deep on the goal and couldn't get shots off at the end of 2-on-1 rushes.
Brutal bounce: Ottawa made it 1-0 a minute into the second period when defenseman Dylan Demelo fired wide from the blue line — but got a goal when the puck ricocheted off the backboards, hit Hutton in the back and dropped into the net.
Wipeout: Hutton had no chance on Ottawa's third goal as well, Colin White's shot from the slot at 14:47 of the second. White had a wide-open net after Hutton collided with Rasmus Ristolainen in front of the goal.
Lineup news: Winger Remi Elie dressed for the first time in five games, replacing Tage Thompson. Elie skated with Casey Mittelstadt and Sam Reinhart. Elie is from nearby Cornwall, Ont.
"He's been sitting for a while, he's been waiting, he's been working hard in practice," said coach Phil Housley. "He's had a really good approach every day even though he's been out, with a good attitude and he's been a good teammate, so we're going to give him an opportunity. I just like what he's going to bring to our team, which is speed and physicality."
Up next: The Senators are in KeyBank Center for a return match at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Sabres then host Tampa Bay at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.