The Senators looked like a team on the rise at the close of November, but they have stumbled a bit out of the gate following the flip of the calendar.
Ottawa will try to avoid a fourth loss in five games this month as they visit the New Jersey Devils Thursday night.
The Senators closed out November by winning five of seven, but have posted just a 1-2-1 mark at the start of this month. Two of those losses have come to the Capitals, including last night's 5-3 setback.
Milan Michalek scored his NHL high-tying 17th goal of the season and Nick Foligno pushed his point streak to five straight games with a goal, amassing three goals and three assists in that span, but it wasn't enough to hold off Washington.
The Capitals scored four times in the third period, including goals by Alex Ovechkin and Troy Brouwer 15 seconds apart in the third period with each team down a man to snap a tie game. The Sens carried a one-goal lead into the frame, but fell to 7-1-0 when leading after two periods this season.
"We got caught on our heels a little bit on the 4-on-4," said goaltender Craig Anderson, who made 39 saves. "They've got some good players over there and they made some pretty good plays."
Ottawa will hope to get things on track tonight against a New Jersey club that halted a four-game slide on Tuesday with a 3-2 overtime triumph in Toronto. David Clarkson's second goal of the game snapped the skid as he scored on a one-time feed from Dainius Zubrus 2:40 into the extra frame.
Clarkson's two-goal game gave him nine tallies on the season, tied for the team lead.
"It's a good feeling to win up here," said Clarkson, who grew up in Toronto. "I cheered for the Leafs as a kid and admired players who played for the team. So to get an opportunity to score a goal like that felt pretty good."
Martin Brodeur ended with 29 saves and Ilya Kovalchuk also scored a goal. Both Kovalchuk (3g, 3a) and Zach Parise (1g, 5a) are riding five-game point streaks that they will look to extend tonight in the first meeting of the season with the Senators.
Ottawa went 3-1 versus New Jersey a season ago, splitting two meetings in the Garden State. The Devils have still taken 10 of the past 14 encounters overall and eight of the last 10 in New Jersey.