OTTAWA – Brandon Montour needed only 10:12 in the first period Tuesday night to give the Buffalo Sabres a two-goal lead in Canadian Tire Centre.
The defenseman's two goals had the Sabres in position to earn two points on a night in which they could have closed the gap in the Atlantic Division standings.
However, the Sabres allowed four goals in a span of 3:29 and lost to the Senators, 7-4. Buffalo (27-25-8) failed to achieve its first four-game win streak this season and remained eight points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for third in the Atlantic Division.
Montour had his first multigoal game since joining the Sabres last February, and Victor Olofsson's 19th goal of the season cut their deficit to one late in the second period.
Center Artem Anisimov scored two of the Senators' four goals to take a 4-2 lead into the first intermission. Vladislav Namestnikov, Drake Batherson and Jean-Gabriel Pageau also had goals for Ottawa (21-28-11), which went 2-5-2 in its previous nine games. Pageau scored his second of the game in the third period to push the lead to 6-4, and Anthony Duclair added an empty-netter with 45.9 seconds remaining.
Opening salvo: Jeff Skinner swatted his own rebound into the air, causing the puck to roll in and out of the crease. It was then retrieved by Montour, who shot into the net for a 1-0 lead 2:14 into the first period.
Top shelf: Montour pushed the lead to 2-0 at 10:12 with a slap shot from the left point that went over Craig Anderson's glove. It was Montour's first multigoal game since he scored twice as a member of the Anaheim Ducks against the Vancouver Canucks on March 14, 2018.
Special teams: Ottawa trimmed the deficit to one when Namestnikov received a neutral-zone pass from Jean-Gabriel Pageau and skated around Skinner before shooting between Carter Hutton's leg pads for a shorthanded goal at 14:02 into the game. The Sabres have allowed eight shorthanded goals this season.
Gamble: The Senators tied the score at 15:07 when Anisimov faked a wraparound to bait Hutton into attempting a poke check and firing a wrist shot far side. Montour and Rasmus Ristolainen were caught on the same side of the net, allowing Anisimov plenty of time to shoot the puck.
Nine: Ottawa needed just nine seconds to take a 3-2 lead, as Batherson retrieved a loose puck and swept his own rebound past Hutton. The Sabres allowed three goals in 1:14 after scoring three goals in 1:31 Sunday against Toronto.
Pouring on: Anisimov pushed the lead to 4-2 on a Senators power play by firing a wrist shot from the high slot. The Sabres allowed four goals in three minutes, 29 seconds, and they entered Tuesday with a 6-14-6 record when trailing after the first period. Hutton allowed four goals on 14 shots in the first period.
Chipping away: The Sabres cut the deficit to 4-3 with Kyle Okposo redirecting Johan Larsson's 2-on-1 pass into the net 2:36 into the second period. The goal was Okposo's second in as many games and seventh of the season. With his secondary assist, Montour recorded his first three-point game since Dec. 12, 2018.
Momentum-killer: Brady Tkachuk's deflection went off Pageau's skate and into the net to make it 5-3 with 11 minutes remaining in the second period.
Goalofsson: The Sabres responded with Olofsson's power-play goal to make it 5-4 at 16:05 into the second period. Olofsson scored on a one-timer from the right circle off a feed from Rasmus Dahlin, whose 80th career point surpassed Ray Bourque for the second-most by a teenage defenseman in NHL history.
Dahlin now trails only Phil Housley (132) for the most points by a defenseman before his 20th birthday. Olofsson, meanwhile, has three goals in three games since returning from a lower-body injury.
Entering Tuesday, the Sabres were 2-18-3 when trailing after the second period.
Pulling away: Olofsson had a pair of quality scoring chances stopped by Anderson in the third period. The Senators then capitalized on the power play with Pageau scoring on a one-timer from the slot for a 6-4 lead with 7:07 remaining.
Lineup: Winger Scott Wilson was a healthy scratch after he was recalled from Rochester on Monday. Wilson joined the Sabres on the trip to Ottawa because Larsson missed practice Monday for what the team called "maintenance."
Defenseman John Gilmour (healthy) and winger Michael Frolik (illness) were also scratched.
Delay: The jersey retirement ceremony for former Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips pushed faceoff back to 8:02 p.m.
Waivers: Rochester winger Taylor Leier cleared waivers Tuesday after signing a one-year, two-way NHL contract with the Sabres on Monday. Leier, 26, will remain in Rochester, where he has scored seven goals with one assist in 17 games this season.
Marco on the move: Former Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella was traded by the Montreal Canadiens to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday in exchange for a second-round draft pick and a conditional fourth-round draft pick. Buffalo dealt Scandella to the Canadiens in January for a fourth-round draft choice.
Next: The Sabres are off Wednesday and return to practice Thursday in preparation for their game Saturday in Pittsburgh.