"Just an embarrassment," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "I don't know if that's an emotion but that's what we're all feeling and what we should be feeling at this moment. Pretty tough all-around game. Not much to say."
Seven different Devils scored, including Damon Severson, who added two assists, as New Jersey reeled off seven consecutive goals against a Blackhawks team that was flying high after road victories against the Jets and Avalanche.
"That team came out hard in the first period and they stuck with it and we didn't," Toews said. "We were right there in that game and then we got away from our team game that we've been talking about and really focusing on. We had two great road efforts where you could say we played some pretty good hockey through both the 60-minute games and we just fall off the horse again."
Corey Crawford started in goal for the Blackhawks but was replaced by Robin Lehner after yielding four goals. Zack Smith scored for the Blackhawks but it wasn't nearly enough as they dropped to 15-17-6 on the season. The Devils improved to 12-19-5.
Here are three takeaways from the Blackhawks' loss:
The Blackhawks were handed seven power plays on the night - including four in the first period alone - but came up empty with the man advantage.
"Just reflective of our 5-on-5 play," Toews said. "We weren't moving the puck fast enough, we weren't working to get open, we were just standing still, watching each other. We weren't moving the puck fast enough (and) we weren't winning our battles."
Not only did the Blackhawks not cash in on the power play, the Devils' Travis Zajac scored shorthanded in the second period to give the visitors an insurmountable 5-1 lead.
"They had a big shorthanded goal and I think that was maybe another back-breaker for us, midway through the game," Toews said. "They got momentum and then they shoved that down our throat and the rest is history."
The Blackhawks entered the game with the NHL's 25th-best power play with a 16.3 percent success rate but dropped to 15.3 percent. The Devils' penalty kill was ranked 21st at 79.4 percent.
"(The Devils) did a good job," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. "They pressured us hard, but we didn't make any plays. We had a reluctance to shoot the puck. We just weren't clean. We weren't clean on the breakout (and) we weren't clean in the zone. Obviously, we could have built on the momentum we had early and we give it to them, we give up a shorthanded goal. So, not what we wanted."
After yielding the Devils' fourth goal scored by John Hayden, Crawford signaled to the bench to be lifted.
"(Colliton) has kind of left us in games so I just thought maybe it's time to change a little momentum," Crawford said. "(It) just seemed like nothing was going right so I thought it was a chance to maybe get some momentum."
Colliton said he didn't see Crawford motion to come out but that he had decided to put Lehner in the game on his own.
"I didn't see him wave, but obviously we made that decision," Colliton said. "No one was good (Monday night). Definitely not blaming anyone."
Already without Drake Caggiula (concussion protocol), Andrew Shaw (concussion protocol), Calvin de Haan (right shoulder), Brandon Saad (ankle) and Brent Seabrook (undergoing evaluation), the Blackhawks lost defenseman Adam Boqvist to a right shoulder injury midway through the first period.
Colliton said Boqvist could miss a game or two but "it's a minor thing overall."
Before the game. Colliton gave an update on the progress of some of the injured Blackhawks, saying Shaw "is still having symptoms and no real progression yet." Regarding Caggiula, who's been practicing regularly with the team, Colliton said, "he's further ahead, no question. But until you're at the point where you're actually coming back, I'm sure it's frustrating."
As far as Seabrook, who missed his fourth consecutive game, Colliton said, "He's still being evaluated. (We're) trying to figure out where we go from here, but I'm sure we'll get something out soon."
It was a rough night for the Boqvist family as Devils forward Jesper Boqvist, Adam's brother, also left the game with an injury in the opening period and did not return.