Defensemen David Savard scored the first Columbus goal of the preseason, but no one could muster anything else against strong goaltending in a 4-1 loss to Buffalo at Nationwide Arena.
The Sabres used two goalies, who combined to make 36 saves.
The Jackets went 0-for-5 on the power play.
Columbus will host the Chicago Blackhawks tonight.
The Blue Jackets are bringing back their alternate third jersey this season.
The team will wear the cannon logo sweaters at least 12 times this year, with their debut set for October 18th when the Jackets host the Philadelphia Flyers.
Columbus first introduced the third jersey in 2010-11 and last wore them during the 2016-17 season.