OTTAWA -- After another dismal home outing, the Ottawa Senators can only hope the worst part of their season is over.
The team held a closed-door meeting after falling to 2-5 at home. Ottawa (5-7) is facing its second three-game losing streak of the year after having one last season.
"I hope this is it," Senators forward Mike Fisher said. "We know we've got a good group of solid guys and we're going to turn it around. We're disappointed. We can't hang our heads, we've got to look up and look at things we can do as a team."
Cam Ward stopped 24 shots for Carolina (7-6-2).
After dealing with trade rumors and lots of criticism this week, Alfredsson scored on his first shift. The Senators captain beat Ward high glove side.
"It seems like we're a team that gets a little shy when we get up in a game," Alfredsson said. "We stopped kind of playing and we let them take the game to us. We've got to be more confident with the puck."
The Senators made it 2-0 three minutes into the second as Hamel beat a sliding Ward between the legs, but Ottawa was unable to hold off the defending Stanley Cup champions. Carolina got on the board with a power-play goal late in the second as Cole caught Gerber cheating and was able to squeeze the puck in at the side of the net.
Rod Brind'Amour assisted on the goal for his 1,000th NHL point.
"It doesn't mean a lot at the moment," Brind'Amour said. "When I got 500 points, I remember thinking 1,000 is way out there, but now that I'm here it doesn't mean a heck of a lot.
"But I think when you're all done it's nice to look back on. It means you've played a long time, but you've also been pretty successful."
The Hurricanes were successful in wearing down the Senators as the game wore on. Whitney tied the game 58 seconds into the third period as he beat Gerber to the far side.
Special teams again hurt the Senators who finished the game 0-for-7 with the man advantage despite a two-man advantage for 1:11 in the third period.
Senators coach Bryan Murray was frustrated with his team's power play.
"I would like to think we have the ammunition to do it," he said. "If we're to have success, we need goals 5-on-3 and more often than not on the power play."
The players were also struggling to explain the power-play woes.
"We had a 5-on-3 for a minute and almost 45 seconds and then we give them two 5-on-3s. We kill the first one and then they score on the second one," Alfredsson said. "That's the difference in the game. It's tough to swallow."
The Hurricanes were much more opportunistic as they made the most of back-to-back, two-man advantages. They were 2-for-7 with the extra man.
Carolina took its first lead, 3-2, on Whitney's power-play goal at 10:31 of the third period.
"We just seemed to be clicking," Cole said. "If you can execute on your power play there's no reason why you shouldn't capitalize."
- Ottawa D Wade Redden missed his third straight game with a groin injury.
- C Alexei Kaigorodov was suspended by the Senators for failing to report to Binghamton of the AHL.
- Gerber received his Stanley Cup ring from Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford before the game.
- Mike Fisher wore an "A" in Redden's absence.