Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Zack Smith broke a tie with 2:23 remaining in the third period to help lift the Ottawa Senators to a 6-4 win over the Washington Capitals.
Smith had been in the penalty box when Washington defenseman John Carlson knotted the score 64 seconds earlier.
Bobby Ryan scored his second goal of the game into an empty net with 12.6 seconds for the Senators, who registered their fifth straight victory over the Capitals, but posted their first regulation win at Verizon Center since March 12, 2006. Washington had gone 11-0-2 in its last 13 home games against Ottawa.
Smith went off for kneeing with 3:30 left and Carlson scored a mere three seconds into the power play. Joel Ward won a right-circle faceoff cleanly back to Carlson and he ripped a shot that deflected in off an Ottawa player, tying the game at 4-4.
Smith made amends for the infraction by taking a pass from Chris Neil in the neutral zone and beating Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby with a shot from the left circle.
Ottawa netminder Craig Anderson earned the win with 29 saves.
Holtby allowed five goals on 40 shots in Washington's fourth consecutive loss.
"We had them. We were close to putting our stamp on it, but we let them back," Carlson said. "It's tough. We need wins right now and this is certainly one that we can look back on and make sure it doesn't happen again because it's not a good loss."
The Capitals entered play with a minus-9 goal differential in the first period, but outscored Ottawa by a 3-1 margin during the opening frame on Wednesday.
All four goals came in a span of 2:43, beginning with Eric Fehr's tally at the 12:10 mark.
Senators defenseman Joe Corvo looked to send the puck out of the Ottawa zone, but Michael Latta was forechecking and intercepted the clearing attempt off the left-wing boards. The rookie was then tripped, but the puck made its way to Fehr and he beat Anderson with a snap shot from the slot.
Ryan countered for Ottawa 1:18 later with a nifty tip from in front on a power play, but Marcus Johansson and Brooks Laich scored 47 seconds apart for the Capitals.
Ten seconds after Ryan tied the game, Smith received a hooking penalty. Johansson, off a broken play, swatted a loose puck into an open net on the ensuing man advantage at 14:06, then Laich whipped a backhander past Anderson for a two-goal Washington lead that evaporated in a four-minute span in the second period.
Ottawa entered with the second-best road power play and the unit struck again as Chris Phillips unleashed a slap shot from near the dot in the left circle, beating Holtby high on the glove side at 6:36 for his first goal of the season.
Colin Greening tied things up at even strength with his first goal as well. Greening fired a wrister from the right wing through a screened Holtby at 10:36.
A third power-play marker, this one by Mika Zibanejad, gave the Senators a 4-3 lead 6:05 into the third period.
"I thought we shot the puck and had people at the net," Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean said about his team's power play. "That second we tipped one in, I think one goes in off Mika. We had people at the net and we're shooting the puck. Any time you're going to be effective on the power play you have to be shooting the puck."
The Capitals and Senators have both allowed at least one goal while shorthanded in six straight games ... Washington had outscored opponents 17-9 in the second period in its previous 12 games.