Although he gave up two goals in the final period, Lalime came up with three crucial saves in the waning moments to preserve his 27th win. With just under two minutes to go, he made two blocker saves on Rod Brind'Amour, then stopped a point-blank attempt by Bates Battaglia in the final seconds.
Defenseman Chris Phillips scored 3:29 into the third to put the Senators ahead 4-2. After taking a pass from Shawn McEachern, Phillips motored over the blue line and rifled a slap shot past goaltender Arturs Irbe.
Jeff O'Neill scored twice for the Hurricanes, who cut the deficit to 3-2 on a third-period goal by Glen Wesley.
O'Neill scored his second goal at 10:47 of the third to make it 4-3, but Carolina failed to take advantage of a power play with 1:24 left.
Ron Francis had three assists for the Hurricanes, who lost for the just second time in six games.