Final - 2OT
  for this game

Slumping Habs continue division title quest in Jersey

Apr 3, 2015 - 2:18 PM ( - The Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens try to avoid a third consecutive setback on Friday night as they hit the road to battle the New Jersey Devils.

The Canadiens were bested 5-4 in a shootout by the Washington Capitals on Thursday night, but the point earned did allow them to stay in front of the Tampa Bay Lightning by one point in the division.

Montreal has 103 points on the season and four games left to play, one more than idle Tampa Bay, which beat the Habs in regulation on Monday.

The Canadiens blew a one-goal lead in the third period last night as the Capitals netted a pair of power-play goals 73 seconds apart, but defenseman P.K. Subban forced overtime by scoring with 4:49 left in regulation.

Montreal, though, came up empty on all four of its chances in the shootout and Carey Price was beaten by Troy Brouwer in the fourth round to cap an outing in which he stopped just 15-of-19 shots faced through overtime.

"Pricey's the best goalie in the league, but it's hard to stop what you can't see," said Subban, who had two assists as well. "They did a good job of putting traffic in front of him."

Jeff Petry, Tom Gilbert and Lars Eller also scored in the loss.

Given the tough outing last night and the fact that Montreal has already clinched a playoff spot, backup Dustin Tokarski figures to get the start tonight in net. He has never before faced New Jersey and is 6-6-3 in 16 games (15 starts) this season with a 2.81 goals against average and .910 save percentage.

The Devils try to avoid a seventh loss in a row tonight after getting dealt a 3-2 overtime setback by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.

Mike Cammalleri scored twice, including shorthanded with 2:29 left to play in regulation, but the Blue Jackets' Jack Johnson tallied the winner 56 seconds into the extra frame.

Cory Schneider stopped 28 shots for the Devils, who have dropped six in a row for the first time since they opened up the 2013-14 schedule with seven straight losses.

"We would like to have that last shift back," Cammalleri said. "I think we just got a little out of sorts and ended up giving up one that we would like to have a chance at."

Winger Stephen Gionta suffered a back injury versus Columbus that kept him out of practice both Wednesday and Thursday. His status for this game is not known.

With New Jersey set to visit the New York Rangers on Saturday, backup Keith Kinkaid will get the start tonight. Kinkaid has won three of his past four starts, but is 0-2-0 lifetime versus the Canadiens in two prior starts and yielded six goals on 44 shots in a recent 6-2 setback in Montreal on Feb. 7.

The Devils have lost six of their past eight versus the Canadiens, including both previous meetings this season. They also have dropped two in a row and seven of their past nine at home in this series.