Devils beat Sharks 5-2 in final game before All-Star break
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- 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.
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 lopsided loss in Anaheim on what proved to be a successful California swing.
Cory Schneider made 34 saves one game after being knocked after getting hit in the head by a puck.
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.
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 to make sure the Devils can enjoy their eight days off before returning from the All-Star break next Wednesday at home against Toronto.
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.
After emphasizing the importance of getting off to a fast start, the Sharks once again struggled in the opening period. They managed to score first when Pavelski forced a turnover from former teammate Scott Gomez and then beat Schneider with a wrist shot to the short side off a feed from Thornton less than 4 minutes into the game.
But the Devils controlled play after that and 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.
The Sharks, once known for jumping on opponents early at home, have now been outscored 16-8 in the first period of their last 13 home games.
NOTES: The Sharks had killed 13 straight penalties before Cammalleri's power-play goal in the second. ... Sharks D Justin Braun did not return to the game after blocking a shot in the second period. ... New Jersey Fs Jaromir Jagr and Tuomo Ruutu missed their third straight game with the flu.
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