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Higgins, Price help Canadiens blank Senators

Nov 12, 2008 - 4:19 AM MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Christopher Higgins gave Carey Price plenty of help on a night the goaltender surely did not need it.

Higgins recorded his first career hat trick and Price made 28 saves as the Montreal Canadiens blanked the Ottawa Senators, 4-0, on Tuesday.

"We just focused on the way we were supposed to play at our meetings (this week) - we went over everything we did wrong," Higgins said. "For us to play a complete and direct game, that's what we need to do. We have to play balanced, get plenty of goals and play defense to win.

"Obviously getting the shutout from (Price) means a lot of things went right tonight; it was real nice to be part of it."

Higgins scored in each period and Guillaume Latendresse also tallied, while defenseman Josh Gorges added two assists as the Canadiens snapped a two-game losing streak.

"The guys played well tonight," Gorges said. "(Higgins) had a lot of jump in his step and it was two points that mattered; it was a great team victory tonight. Guys came out from start to finish... I thought we competed and battled hard and we played well defensively, which we haven't done a lot this year."

Price turned aside 11 shots in the first, seven in the second and 10 in the third en route to notching his first shutout of the season and fourth career. The 21-year-old registered his last shutout against the Senators in a 3-0 victory at the Bell Centre on April 1.

"I think it's the best complete game we've played so far this year," Price said. "The guys played great over 60 minutes and they've been harping at that and they did it. We did a great job on their big line and the guys did good against all of their lines."

Ottawa goaltender Alex Auld made 27 saves, but his efforts were not enough to lift the Senators to their third win in four tries.

Montreal got on the board when captain Saku Koivu lifted a cross-ice pass to a charging Higgins, who ended up all alone in the zone before firing a wrist shot past Auld from the left faceoff circle for a shorthanded tally 7:22 into the first.

He struck again with 5:49 remaining in the following session. After taking a rebound from defenseman Ryan O'Byrne's initial attempt from the point, Sergei Kostitsyn slid pass across the crease to Higgins, who wristed the puck into the open net on the right side.

"I think it was a great game and he just has to remember it - play the same way," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said. "He's not going to score like that every game, but I know he has the talent to have those kind of chances."

Latendresse registered his second goal of the season 88 seconds later by taking possession after Robert Lang won a faceoff and lifting a slap shot over Auld's shoulder.

"I think that was the turning point in the second when we had a pretty sloppy power play and they ended up scoring right after it," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "That's one of the things we have to work on."

Higgins secured the victory with 3:25 left in the third, converting passes from Alex Tanguay and Gorges on a breakaway.

"We had a couple of good days of practice and some good talks, but talking can bring you only so far," Carbonneau said. "You still have to go on the ice and perform, and tonight I thought we had great focus, great effort, and everything we wanted to accomplish in the game we did."

Auld entered this contest 1-1-1 with a 2.49 goals-against versus Montreal. Playing one night after Martin Gerber gave him a breather, Auld yielded more than two goals for the first time in six contests.

Senators center Jason Spezza, who has five goals and eight points this season, has scored just twice in his last 11 contests and has not tallied in six straight.

"We got caught on three breakaways and overall it was not as solid as we've played previously," Alfredsson said. "I think we didn't play as well as we should. In the third period, we had some chances, I had a couple of times I should have scored, but we didn't create as much offense as we would have liked.

"It was one of those games you'd like to forget, and hopefully we'll have a much better effort on Thursday (against the Islanders)."

Meanwhile, the Canadiens did a valiant job in their first game without right wing Tom Kostopoulos, who was suspended three games for his check on Toronto defenseman Mike Van Ryn in Montreal's 6-3 loss on Saturday. Van Ryn suffered a concussion, a broken nose and hand.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 0 0 0
    MONTREAL 1 2 1 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (SH) CHRIS HIGGINS 2 (SAKU KOIVU, JOSH GORGES) 7:22
    2ND PRD: MON - CHRIS HIGGINS 3 (SERGEI KOSTITSYN, RYAN O'BYRNE) 14:11
    MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 2 (ROBERT LANG) 15:39
    3RD PRD: MON - CHRIS HIGGINS 4 (ALEX TA

    Nov 11 9:36 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    MONTREAL 4
    3RD PRD: MON - CHRIS HIGGINS 4 (ALEX TANGUAY, JOSH GORGES) 16:35

    Senators 0, Canadiens 4  3rd - 3:25Nov 11 9:31 PM
  • 15
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Senators 0, Canadiens 3  End of 2ndNov 11 8:46 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 0 0
    MONTREAL 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (SH) CHRIS HIGGINS 2 (SAKU KOIVU, JOSH GORGES) 7:22
    2ND PRD: MON - CHRIS HIGGINS 3 (SERGEI KOSTITSYN, RYAN O'BYRNE) 14:11
    MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 2 (ROBERT LANG) 15:39
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST

    Nov 11 8:42 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    MONTREAL 3
    2ND PRD: MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 2 (ROBERT LANG) 15:39

    Senators 0, Canadiens 3  2nd - 4:21Nov 11 8:34 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    MONTREAL 2
    2ND PRD: MON - CHRIS HIGGINS 3 (SERGEI KOSTITSYN, RYAN O'BYRNE) 14:11

    Senators 0, Canadiens 2  2nd - 5:49Nov 11 8:30 PM
  • 10
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Senators 0, Canadiens 1  End of 1stNov 11 7:51 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 0
    MONTREAL 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (SH) CHRIS HIGGINS 2 (SAKU KOIVU, JOSH GORGES) 7:22
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTT 11 11
    MON 12 12
    GOALIES: OTT - ALEX AULD
    MON -

    Nov 11 7:49 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    MONTREAL 1
    1ST PRD: MON - (SH) CHRIS HIGGINS 2 (SAKU KOIVU, JOSH GORGES) 7:22

    Senators 0, Canadiens 1  1st - 12:38Nov 11 7:23 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    MONTREAL 0 19:55 LEFT, 1ST PRD

    Senators 0, Canadiens 0  1st - 19:55Nov 11 7:11 PM
  • 5
    roots
    sensfaninohio Added 5 roots

    Senators vs. CanadiensNov 11 10:21 AM