Jason Spezza scored two goals in the first 3, for their first home win in November.
Cam Ward allowed four goals on 25 shots in the loss, Carolina's 10th in 14 games this month (4-9-1).
The Hurricanes were just 1-for-8 on the power play.
Spezza scored 55 seconds into the game, getting the puck near center ice and racing through three defenders before stuffing it past Ward.
Later, Carolina tied it on Patrick Dwyer's sharp-angle shot, but Spezza scored just three minutes later on a power play, beating Ward from the left circle to make it 2-1 at the 18:03 mark.
Rundblad flipped a shot on net from just inside the blue line to push Ottawa's lead to 3-1 with 14 seconds left in the middle period.
Staal scored into an open net from Anderson's left after a shot was knocked down in front, getting the Hurricanes within 3-2 less than seven minutes into the third period.
But Smith's goal from the slot at 12:35 restored Ottawa's two-goal lead and Ponikarovsky's power-play tally four minutes later only served to halve it.
The Senators are still trying to even their mark in November. They are 4-5-2 in the month after ending October on a six-game winning...Ottawa returned home from a 3-2-1 road trip, which ended with a 6-3 loss to Pittsburgh on Friday.