"There was a lot of negativity after our last game in Anaheim," Schneider said. "But to take two out of three on this trip, not many teams do that. We can feel good about ourselves. 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."
New Jersey doesn't play again until Jan. 28 when it will host the Toronto Maple Leafs at Prudential Center.
"We're an older team, so we'll take the break," Devils center Scott Gomez said. "I think we realize there's two teams. If we play like one, we're going to give ourselves a chance. If we try and be cute and not do the little things we've been talking about, that's when we're going to get in trouble. The effort's definitely been there. We're excited. Why not make a run?"
The Sharks lost defenseman Justin Braun and forward Tommy Wingels to upper-body injuries during the game. Coach Todd McLellan said Braun and Wingels will miss the game Wednesday against the Los Angeles Kings and will be "out for a while."
Braun was injured early in the second period blocking a shot; Wingels was slashed midway through the third period.
The Sharks have gone 1-1-1 in the first three games of their seven-game home stand, and McLellan said he's worried about more than the mediocre record.
"I'm concerned about the life we bring to the rink and to the games," McLellan said. "I don't know if you want to call it passion, but the internal drive per person is not where it needs to be right now. And these are important games. We talked about the importance of this stretch of games at home. It's disappointing to see the lack of drive right now."
Cammalleri put New Jersey ahead 3-2 with a power-play goal at 13:32 of the second period. With Sharks defenseman Brent Burns in the penalty box for the third time in the game after delivering an illegal check to Tim Sestito, Cammalleri sent a slap shot through traffic and past Stalock.
Schneider made a handful of crucial saves to kill a penalty late in the second period. Midway through the third, Schneider and the Devils killed back-to-back penalties. The Sharks went 0-for-4 on the power play.
"Cory played well," Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said. "It's an understatement how well he played. You have to have your goalie play well."
Zajac increased New Jersey's lead to 4-2 with a goal at 11:10 of the third, scoring on a rebound from short range. Josefson scored a shorthanded goal at 14:32 on a 2-on-1 rush to make it 5-2. Josefson played his first game since Dec. 27.
The Devils were outshot 40-15 in their lost to Anaheim, but they outshot San Jose 17-8 in the first period, building a 2-1 lead, and had 34 shots overall to 36 for the Sharks.
"I was very disappointed last game," Bernier said. "We did some video, had a great practice yesterday. Sometimes things don't go your way. It's not because you're not good enough, it's just because you didn't do the job on the ice that game."
The Sharks struck first at 3:59 of the first period when Pavelski scored his team-leading 23rd goal of the season. Pavelski forced Gomez into a turnover along the boards in New Jersey's end, got the puck back from Joe Thornton in the right circle and beat Schneider with a wrist shot inside the right post.
That was it for what the Sharks hoped would be a fast start, two days after they dug a 2-0 first-period hole and lost 4-3 in overtime to the Calgary Flames on Saturday.
New Jersey answered with goals by Tootoo and Bernier.
"The first five minutes was the start we want," Pavelski said. "It never really felt dangerous on their part, but they got a couple goals around the net that we can't let happen. We didn't have enough pressure after that. The momentum has to keep continuing.
"We have to understand we're in a dogfight every night. Where we're at we want to start trending upward and we're not. We're just staying level. We need these games."
The Devils pulled even at 15:29 on Tootoo's fourth goal of the season. Stalock stopped rapid-fire shots by Sestito and Tootoo, but the latter put his own rebound over the goal line.
Thirty-five seconds later, Bernier scored to give New Jersey a 2-1 lead. Gomez stole the puck from Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon just to the left of the crease and fed Bernier in the low slot. Stalock stopped Bernier's first shot but couldn't control the puck, and Bernier buried the rebound.
The Sharks made it 2-2 four minutes into the second period on Nieto's fourth goal of the season. Nieto took a cross-ice pass from linemate Tyler Kennedy and beat Schneider with a shot from the right circle. Tomas Hertl and Kennedy got the assists.
"Once we score we need to keep the momentum in our favor and have that killer instinct," Nieto said. "Every game counts. We have to find ways to win in our building. We can only go up from here. We have to come together as a team and get it done."
The Devils are 12 points behind the Boston Bruins, who own the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, but they head into their break with renewed confidence.
"You go in feeling good, but you can’t feel too good," Lamoriello said. "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."