SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Cory Schneider and the New Jersey Devils found a way to get rid of the bad taste from a lopsided loss at Anaheim before heading into a lengthy break.
Schneider made 34 saves and Mike Cammalleri scored a tiebreaking, power-play goal late in the second period to help the New Jersey Devils beat the San Jose Sharks 5-2 on Monday night in their final game before the All-Star break.
“We can feel good about ourselves,” Schneider said. “We just have to capture this and realize this is what we have to do night in and night out. We have a lot of time here to rest up. Hopefully we can play like this afterward.”
Steve Bernier, Jordin Tootoo, Travis Zajac and Jacob Josefson also scored for the Devils, who bookended wins over Los Angeles and San Jose around a 5-1 loss to the Ducks before taking an eight-day break for the All-Star game.
“You go in feeling good but you can’t feel too good,” said general manager and interim co-coach Lou Lamoriello. “You just have to realize what you did to have success and take that from the game and just pick it up when you get back. Unfortunately we’re going into a break right now. I wish we weren’t.”
Joe Pavelski and Matt Nieto scored for the Sharks, who have lost five of six home games and have already surpassed last year’s total of regulation home losses with their eighth this season. Alex Stalock made 29 saves as he set a career high in goals allowed in a game.
“There wasn’t a lot of good in that game,” coach Todd McLellan said. “Our power play was probably the best part of our game and we gave up a short-handed goal. That tells you all you need to know about the game.”
Making matters worse for the Sharks was the fact they lost two key players to upper-body injuries. Defenseman Justin Braun left after blocking a shot in the second period and forward Tommy Wingels was hurt after being slashed in the third. McLellan said both will be out for “a while.”
The Sharks tied the game early in the second when Nieto scored on a one-timer off a feed from Tyler Kennedy. Brent Burns set up the goal with a good rush from the defensive zone.
But Burns gave it back when he committed his third minor penalty of the game later in the period when he was called for hitting Tom Sestito in the head.
The Devils made Burns pay when Cammalleri’s shot on the power play beat Stalock to give New Jersey the lead for good.
Zajac scored an insurance goal in the third and Josefson added a short-handed goal.
“Once we score we have to keep the momentum going our way,” Nieto said. “We have to have that killer instinct. Every game counts and we have to find ways to win in our building.”
Schneider helped New Jersey kill three penalties while protecting a one-goal lead, including 12 seconds of a two-man advantage early in the third.
“If they get one on any of those power plays it’s a different game,” Schneider said. “I thought our killers did a fantastic job, especially there at the end getting a short-handed goal was really the nail in the coffin. We bent a few times but we didn’t break.”
After allowing an early goal to Pavelski following a turnover by Scott Gomez, the Devils controlled the play. They struck twice in a span of 35 seconds late in the period to take a 2-1 lead. Tootoo tied it when he beat Stalock on his third attempt from in close.
Gomez then made up for his earlier error by forcing a turnover from Brenden Dillon to set up Bernier’s goal that made it 2-1. New Jersey outshot San Jose 17-8 in the period one game after being held to 15 shots overall by Anaheim.
NOTES: The Sharks have been outscored 16-8 in the first period of their last 13 home games. ... New Jersey Fs Jaromir Jagr and Tuomo Ruutu missed their third straight game with the flu.