Newark, N.J. -- What it means: The Rangers' woeful skid continues as they were blanked 4-0 by the only team in the entire league that had yet to win a game this season -- the New Jersey Devils. More worrisome than the team's 2-5-0 record? The play of franchise goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Coming off a shutout performance in D.C. on Wednesday, the "king" looked less than royal as he struggled against the Rangers' Hudson River rivals. The former Vezina Trophy winner hasn't looked like himself all season, a big problem given that the Rangers have been able to rely heavily on his steadying presence in recent years. Meanwhile, the Devils showed signs of life despite an injury-depleted roster. Both Marek Zidlicky and Jaromir Jagr notched a pair of assists each and goaltender Cory Schneider turned away all 22 shots to finally get the Devils in the win column.
Shaky start: Lundqvist didn't look like the same goaltender the Rangers had between the pipes in D.C. on Wednesday. In fact, the 31-year-old hasn't resembled that player too often this season. Lundqvist gave up two bad first-period goals to start the game; Andrei Loktionov pounced on a juicy rebound and beat Lundqvist five-hole at 7:22 and Adam Henrique lasered one past him from the left faceoff circle later in the period. And though Lundqvist was screened on the Devils' third goal of the night -- a power-play marker from Michael Ryder -- the fourth was another one he should have stopped.
Bounce-back Bryce: It was a surprising return for defenseman Bryce Salvador when he appeared back on the bench for the second period. The Devils captain looked dazed and had trouble getting up after a hard hit from Benoit Pouliot in the first period that sent him sprawling backwards to the ice. Salvador not only returned, but picked up an assist on Dainius Zubrus' goal. Assuming Salvador emerged unscathed, the Devils dodged a bullet. The 37-year-old Salvador has a troubling concussion history; he missed the entire 2010-11 season with a cochlear concussion.
Missing in action: The combined rosters of the Devils and Rangers closely resembled that of their exhibition contest last month, given both teams' substantial list of injuries. The Devils were without three of their top-six forwards Patrik Elias (flu), Damien Brunner (upper-body soreness) and Ryane Clowe (concussion). The Rangers were in a similar boat with the caliber of players they are missing: captain Ryan Callahan (hand), Carl Hagelin (shoulder), Rick Nash (concussion).
Sitting out: Defenseman Michael Del Zotto also did not play, though he has since recovered from the bout of the flu that sidelined him for Wednesday's 2-0 win vs. the Caps. Coach Alain Vigneault opted to keep that winning lineup intact and made Del Zotto a healthy scratch. Consider that a clear message about the team's assessment of his play thus far.
Up next: Rangers at Flyers, Thursday at 7 p.m.