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NHL: 3 stories for Friday night

04/04/2015 12:47 EDT | Updated 06/03/2015 05:59 EDT
Despite given ample opportunities to win, the Montreal Canadiens let one get away against the Devils, while the Sabres and Coyotes continued their Connor McDavid Bowl battle.

Here are three stories from Friday night's NHL action:

Canadiens let 1 get away

The Canadiens continue to squander chances to pull away from the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division or overtake the New Rangers for top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Montreal lost its third straight and fifth in six games following a 3-2 shootout defeat to the Devils.

The Habs had a 2-1 lead in the second but Devils forward Reid Boucher beat backup Dustin Tokarski, who was giving No. 1 netminder Carey Price a night off, with 4:37 remaining in the period.

After overtime failed to deliver a winner, Jacob Josefson and Patrik Elias scored in the shootout, snapping New Jersey's season-high six-game losing streak.

Power play continues to haunt Habs

Even with the loss, the Canadiens, who have 104 points on the season, moved two points ahead of the Lightning. They also remain one point behind the Rangers.

The Habs lost for one reason only: their power play. Ranked 23rd heading into Friday night's contest, the Canadiens were 1 for 6 with the man advantage against the Devils.

This, despite having a five-minute major in the second period, a two-man advantage late in the third and a 4-on-3 chance in the overtime.

"There's no doubt in my mind that the power play is where we have to be better," said Montreal defenceman P.K. Subban. "It's been up and down. This is the time of year where we have to figure out what we have to do to put the puck in the net."

McDavid Bowl going down to the wire

The race to the bottom (and the best odds of winning the draft lottery) resumed for the worst-overall Sabres and second-worst Coyotes, with both teams hoping their chances of drafting either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel will increase.

All that changed was that Buffalo and Arizona saw each of their regular-season games reduced by one game. The Sabres nearly gave their fans some heart problems after leading the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 late in the third period.

But Hawks forward Jonathan Toews came to rescue with two goals in the period's final 1:43, lifting Chicago to a 4-3 win and sending the Sabres faithful home happy.

We know, this seems weird to us, too. However, McDavid is that good.

The Coyotes, meanwhile, didn't do Buffalo any favours as they fell 3-1 to San Jose. The Sabres remain at 52 points, two behind Arizona. Both teams have four games left.

The end can't come enough for most Buffalo fans.

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