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Canadiens 4, Senators 0 @NHL

MONTREAL (AP) -Chris Higgins paid tribute to his Long Island hockey mom after his first career hat trick.

Higgins scored three goals and Carey Price got his first shutout of the season to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-0 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.

Higgins scored a short-handed goal 7:22 in and extended the Canadiens' lead to 2-0 in the second period. The Smithtown, N.Y., native also had Montreal's fourth goal on a breakaway 16:35 into the third.

"The hat trick was definitely for my mom," Higgins said. "I think my dad gets a lot of credit for where I am right now but I'd just like to say, 'Sue, thank you."'

Guillaume Latendresse also scored for Montreal, which had lost consecutive games (0-1-1) for the first time this season.

Price stopped 28 shots, including a right pad save on Dany Heatley's breakaway shot 7:36 into the third, for his fourth career shutout.

"I thought that was a pretty big point in the game," Price said. "Other than that breakaway, I didn't think they really got a whole lot generated tonight."

Alex Auld made 27 saves for Ottawa, which lost its second straight after going unbeaten in regulation over its previous five games (4-0-1).

"These are big games for us," Senators center Jason Spezza said. "These guys are ahead of us in the standings, and they're in our division and they're a really good team to match up against to see how your team's doing, so it's obviously disappointing."

Montreal's Tom Kostopoulos began serving a three-game suspension handed down by the league Monday for his hit from behind on Toronto's Mike Van Ryn on Saturday.

Higgins opened the scoring when he beat Auld with a shot from the left side with 3 seconds remaining in defenseman Ryan O'Byrne's delay of game penalty for putting the puck over the glass.

Robert Lang got the Canadiens' second delay of game penalty for the same infraction 11:52 into the second, but Montreal's penalty-killing unit was so successful that at one point it appeared as if it was conducting a 4-on-5 power play.

"That was kind of the turning point," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, who called that particular effort "a really sloppy power play."

Higgins finished off a fine pass by Sergei Kostitsyn with a shot from the right side past Auld at 14:11 in the second.

Lang had a hand in the Canadiens' third goal at 15:39 when he won a draw against Ottawa's Dean McAmmond and drew the puck back in the Senators' zone.

Latendresse stepped into the bouncing puck and drove a slap shot over Auld's left arm into the top right corner for his first goal in 11 games.

Notes: Auld has started eight of the Senators' last nine games. ... Price's last shutout also was against Ottawa, a 3-0 win on April 1.

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