Latendresse scored power-play goals 31 seconds apart in the third period and Montreal held on for a 6-3 victory over the struggling Ottawa Senators on Monday night.
The 19-year-old rookie scored his second goal of the season 2:01 into the final period on a 5-on-3 advantage to put the Canadiens up 2-1.
He added his second of the game - his third goal and fourth point in three games since joining Saku Koivu and Michael Ryder on Montreal's top line -- at 2:32 when he deflected Sheldon Souray's shot from the point past Martin Gerber to make it 4-1.
"Sure, it's a good feeling for me but I think playing with Saku and Michael Ryder has helped me a lot in my game," Latendresse said. "Saku, on my first goal, made an amazing pass to me and I think we have good chemistry. I'm trying to do my best, not to replace Higgins, he's irreplaceable, but to try and help the team."
Mike Johnson put the game away with an unassisted effort at 17:35, beating Gerber with a slap shot from the left circle.
Many in the crowd of 20,051 offered a mock cheer on the goalie's next save off a harmless shot.
"They pay for it, so I guess they can do whatever they want," Gerber said. "It's frustrating for them and for us. It's understandable. We know we can play better hockey, we can be a better team than we are right now but everybody's trying really hard."
Alex Kovalev scored into an empty net with 12 seconds remaining.
Mike Komisarek scored Montreal's league-leading seventh short-handed goal of the season in the first period and Radek Bonk scored the go-ahead goal 15:29 into the second for the Canadiens, who have yet to lose consecutive games this season.
"I know all four guys that are out there for the `PK' take a lot of pride in it," Komisarek said. "Last game we gave up three power-play goals and another was just after one ended, so we knew we had to do a better job tonight, getting in lanes, working hard and getting pucks out of the zone. We can change the momentum of the game and tonight we did a great job pretty much most of the game. We made it interesting at the end but I think the guys are pretty happy with the effort."
Cristobal Huet made 36 saves, including 16 in the first period when Montreal was outshot 17-7 while killing three of the Senators' seven overall power-play chances.
"We said it was 1-1 on the road and they probably outworked us and outplayed us in the first period, but it was a 40-minute game and we felt fresh, and that's the way we played after that," Huet said.
Denis Hamel also scored for Ottawa, which has lost two in a row.
The Eastern Conference leaders last season with 113 points, the Senators have lost seven of eight, including their longest losing streak in 10 years, a five-game slide from Oct. 28 to Nov. 8.
Komisarek scored his second goal of the season 12:20 in, finishing off a 2-on-1 with Tomas Plekanec with a redirected shot that trickled through Gerber's pads. His other goal was also a short-handed effort in a 4-0 win at Carolina on Nov. 2.
The Senators have allowed seven short-handed goals this season, including three at Scotiabank Place. Ottawa has scored four power-play goals in eight home games, and only 11 overall in 17 games.
"I don't know what's happened," Senators center Mike Fisher said. "We're just giving up goals we're not used to. We're facing adversity and we've got to find our way out of it, and that's going to make us a better team in the long run."
Hamel tied it at 18:05 when he deflected Andrej Meszaros' shot from the left point past Huet, who made 16 saves in the period as Montreal was outshot 17-7.
The Canadiens regained the lead 15:29 into the second when Bonk was left unmarked in front of the net to take Alexander Perezhogin's pass and beat Gerber.
- Latendresse had no points in his first 13 games before taking Higgins' place on the top line.
- Komisarek is the seventh player to score two short-handed goals this season, including injured Canadiens left wing Chris Higgins, who is tied with Pittsburgh rookie Jordan Staal for the league lead with three goals in penalty-killing situations.