Sens welcome struggling Canucks to town

( - The Ottawa Senators will aim for wins on back-to-back days for the first time this season when they host the struggling Vancouver Canucks in Thursday's battle at Canadian Tire Centre.

Ottawa earned a 6-4 win Wednesday evening in Washington, as Zack Smith broke a tie with 2:23 remaining in the third period to help lift the Senators to victory over the Capitals.

However, Ottawa is 0-3-1 when playing the second test on consecutive days, but will try to reverse that trend when it kicks off a brief two-game homestand on Thursday.

The Senators trailed Washington by a 3-1 score after one period on Wednesday, but Ottawa would eventually gain a 4-3 lead by the early stages of the third period. Washington's John Carlson tied the game with 3:27 left in regulation while Smith was in the box for a kneeing penalty, but the Ottawa forward erased his mistake by giving Ottawa a 5-4 advantage with 2:33 remaining.

Bobby Ryan then added an empty-netter for his second goal of the game with 12.6 seconds left to account for the final margin. Ottawa netminder Craig Anderson earned the win with 29 saves and the Sens finished 3-for-6 on the power play.

"I thought we shot the puck and had people at the net," Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean said about his team's power play. "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."

It was Ottawa's fifth straight win in the series with Washington, but it also was the Sens' first regulation victory at Verizon Center since March 12, 2006.

Ottawa, which will also host Detroit on Sunday, is 4-6-2 as the host this season.

The Canucks have struggled throughout November, posting a 3-4-4 record this month. Vancouver enters Thursday having lost seven of its past eight games (1-4-3) and it recently managed to post just one win during a six-game homestand.

Vancouver went 1-2-3 on a six-game stay at Rogers Arena and lost two straight at the end of the homestand, including Monday's 3-2 overtime setback against Los Angeles.

Anze Kopitar scored the winner just 48 seconds into OT to lift the visiting Kings to the win. Slava Voynov centered a pass to Kopitar, who one-timed it past Roberto Luongo to give L.A. the extra point.

The Canucks led 2-1 after Henrik Sedin's power-play goal at 6:59 of the third period, but Mike Richards tied the game for the Kings with just 2:54 remaining in regulation.

"We did all the right things, but we didn't finish the game," said Vancouver head coach John Tortorella. "I'll keep building the team. There's lots of hockey left."

Christopher Tanev joined Sedin as the goal-scorers for the Canucks, while Luongo made 19 stops in the loss.

The OT loss dropped Vancouver to 5-5-3 as the host this season. The Canucks are 7-4-2 on the road and are beginning a four-game road trip on Thursday.

Vancouver has dominated the Sens in recent years, winning five straight and nine of the past 10 encounters between the clubs. Ottawa also has lost two in a row and five of its last six home meetings against the Canucks.