The Islanders made the most of their 17 shots on goal, scoring four times in the first period to win at Prudential Center.
Anders Lee scored an early-power-play goal, Josh Bailey scored twice while shorthanded, and Eric Boulton beat Martin Brodeur on a breakaway as New York scored four times on eight shots in the opening period. Peter Regin added an unassisted goal in the third for the Islanders, who played without many of their regulars, including captain John Tavares.
"At the end of the day, it wasn't a good night," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "We turned the puck over, and every time we turned it over, it was in our net."
Rostislav Olesz, Marek Zidlicky and rookie defenseman Jon Merrill scored for New Jersey in a game that had 112 penalty minutes. Islanders rookie Brett Gallant and Devils forward Krys Barch fought each other three times, each getting a game misconduct.
"No team is going to take liberties on us," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said, "and I thought our guys played really hard for one another tonight."
Forward Ryane Clowe, who signed with the Devils as a free agent, left with a lower-body injury in the first period and did not return. DeBoer called it a "charley horse-type injury" and said he didn't believe it was serious.