The New Jersey Devils allowed five first-period goals in their 7-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night for their fifth regulation defeat in their past seven games.

"I'm running out of things to say as to why we're playing like that," Devils forward Taylor Hall said post-game. "It's hard. It's a tough pill to swallow, and it's everyone in here. It's too bad. We have the players in here to play a lot better than that. We've got to step it up."

Making his third NHL start of the season, Devils backup goaltender Louis Domingue allowed five goals on 15 shots and was pulled after the first period. Devils coach John Hynes, however, said there was plenty of blame to go around for the team's first 20 minutes.

“First period was not close to being good enough in any area and obviously the scoreboard said it and it’s unacceptable,” Hynes said. “We’ve got to figure out particularly, like, tonight what went on in the first period and why we came out like that.”

Monday's loss dropped the Devils to 9-13-4 and the team remains last in the Metropolitan Division, four points back of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"Mistakes, miscues. That's really what it comes down to. I don't know if we're trying too hard or if we're not competing hard enough," Hall said. "It's hard to say. But right now we've got to find some kind of edge, and right now we don't have it."

The Devils will be back on the ice Tuesday to host the Vegas Golden Knights, who have won three straight games.