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Caps, Sens collide at the Verizon Center

The Washington Capitals will try once again to get Dale Hunter his first NHL win, as the struggling club hosts the Ottawa Senators tonight at the Verizon Center.

Hunter, a former star player for the Caps, landed his first NHL coaching job on Monday when the club fired Bruce Boudreau, but Washington has been dealt a pair of regulation losses since the coaching change. The Capitals have lost four straight overall and eight of their last 10.

The Capitals began the Hunter era Tuesday against visiting St. Louis and dropped a 2-1 decision. Washington lost by the same score on Thursday, as Chris Kunitz scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a road win in D.C.

Jason Chimera had the lone goal for the Capitals, while Tomas Vokoun made 33 saves in defeat.

"The effort is there. We just have to get more pucks to the net," Chimera said.

The Caps have lost four straight for the second time this season, matching their season-worst slide from Nov. 12-19.

Washington fell to 8-4-1 as the home team this season and will complete a three-game homestand tonight.

The Senators will try to close out a three-game road trip tonight with a win after splitting the first two tests of the swing.

Ottawa had a two-game winning streak halted Thursday in Dallas, as Radek Dvorak and Eric Nystrom scored 3:14 apart late in the third period to lift the Stars to a comeback win at American Airlines Center. Nystrom's goal with 2:20 remaining gave the Stars their first lead of the game.

Erik Condra and Milan Michalek each scored for the Senators, while Craig Anderson made 30 saves in defeat.

"We had the lead and couldn't hold on to it," Anderson said. "We might have gotten a little tired there at the end, and they capitalized on their opportunities."

Ottawa is 6-7-1 as the road club this season.

The Senators and Capitals will meet twice in the span of a few days, as Ottawa will host Washington on Wednesday. The Caps notched a 2-1 home win when the teams met on Oct. 15 and Washington has won four of five overall in the series. The Sens have dropped three in a row and 10 of 11 in D.C.