The most singular weapon the Blueshirts have had over the last seven seasons while inexorably tilting the Battle of the Hudson toward the shores of Manhattan remained on the bench last night in Newark.

Henrik Lundqvist, the answer to the question, "Who Was That Masked Man?" as the Lone Ranger to start in goal against the Devils the last 32 times the clubs had met — 37 including the 2008 playoffs — dating back to Dec. 17, 2006, was only a bystander in his team's excruciating 4-3 shootout defeat that first got away on a bizarre bounce with under a minute to go in regulation before Ilya Kovalchuk drove home the only goal in the skills competition.