Schalke extended their six-match unbeaten run in all competitions with a 2-0 win at home to Hanover on Sunday to stay fourth in the German Bundesliga behind run-away leaders Bayern Munich.
Schalke host Real Madrid in the last 16, first leg of the UEFA Champions League in three weeks time and have hit form after back-to-back defeats in December with three straight wins since the winter break.
The Royal Blues put on a regal performance at Gelsenkirchen's Veltins Arena with Jefferson Farfan tapping home after a superb run from defender Sead Kolasinac on 39 minutes, then teenage wunderkind Max Meyer added a second a minute before the break.
The defeat broke Hanover's recent form having won their first two games of the year under new coach Tayfun Korkut to leave the guests lying tenth.
Stuttgart sink lower
Earlier, ten-man Stuttgart dropped closer to the Bundesliga's relegation battle as they suffered their fifth-straight defeat in a 4-1 rout at home to buoyant Augsburg.
Bavarian minnows Augsburg are dreaming of international football next season as they rose to eighth, just two points from the top six, as they put Stuttgart to the sword to go six games unbeaten.
Two goals by midfielder Andre Hahn did the damage for Augsburg, who set a new club record of nine victories in a Bundesliga season at Stuttgart's Mercedes Benz Arena.
To compound the hosts' misery, Stuttgart had captain Vedad Ibisevic sent off with 53 minutes gone for a striking Augsburg's Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker in the face.
The defeat leaves Stuttgart 14th in the table, only two places from the relegation zone.