It's only mid-October but you can already feel the exasperation bubbling in the Buffalo Sabres' dressing room.

The Sabres don't have much going on right now in the wake of Thursday's 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks in SAP Center that opened their four-game road trip. They're 0-3-1, tied with Arizona for the worst record in the NHL and off to their worst start since 2013. They have nine goals in four games and three players have accounted for all of them.

"We've got to just figure a way to be sick of losing," said Jack Eichel. "I know I'm sick of losing. There's a lot of guys that are sick of losing. There's a difference between playing hard and playing hard and smart. We've got to execute our game all the way through the lineup, myself included."

There were no good-job, good-effort backslaps after this one even though the Sabres did substantially tidy things up on the defensive end. There was no epidemic of odd-man rushes like we saw in their previous two games. No breakdown of the power play to allow yet another backbreaking short-handed goal.

The Sabres were outshot by just one in the game (26-25) but only had five in the third period and had few good chances to score the tying goal they needed.

As goaltender Robin Lehner quietly intoned, "If you don't have the effort, that's an automatic. Every team in this league ought to have the effort. I think the effort was a bit better but it comes down to small details, to bringing everything together. ... This is awful. It's not fun."

"It's a league of results, right?" said Jason Pominville, who scored both goals. "It's frustrating we're not getting the results that we want but I thought our effort was way better and we've got to take that with us. At the end of the day, we didn't get the two points and that's what we play for and what we want."

Pominville scored twice on nifty Eichel feeds after strong work by Zemgus Girgensons to set up the play and earn a secondary assist. One got the Sabres even at 1-1 in the first period, the other forged a 2-2 tie in the second. But San Jose won the game when Timo Meier tapped home a loose puck on the edge of the crease with 5:30 left in the second period.