This game had a number of twists and turns, but perhaps the most disconcerting for the Senators was the sight of a motionless Craig Anderson.
With 1:32 gone in overtime Anderson went down hard after being hit by Valeri Nichushkin. He was taken off the ice on a stretcher after he appeared to take a knee to the head.
Anderson faced 36 shots before Robin Lehner was forced into action. Lehner stopped two shots in overtime.
While the Senators can take comfort in forcing the game to a shootout they're still left facing a five-game winless streak. They haven't won on home ice since October 17.
After a solid second period the Senators had some bad luck when Borowiecki put the puck in his own net when trying to clear it from the front of the net giving the Stars a 3-2 lead.
Despite Borowiecki's goal the Senators did all they could to tie things, and with 9.6 seconds remaining in regulation Ryan jumped on a loose puck in the slot and tied the game.
The second period didn't get off to a great start for the Senators as Nichushkin, with his first NHL goal, made it 2-0 after taking a saucer pass from Brenden Dillon and beat Anderson high.
Things looked like they were going from bad to worse when Chris Neil took a double minor for high sticking, but the Senators managed to kill the penalties and even created a number of scoring chances short handed.
Ottawa then went on to cut the lead in half as Karlsson took a great cross-ice pass from Ryan and caught Lehtonen moving.
Ottawa capped the period with a power play goal by Spezza to make it 2-2 giving the 18,106 finally something to cheer about.
The first period was a disaster for the Senators as they were outshot 19-9 and gave up numerous odd-man rushes leaving Anderson to fend for himself.
The Stars had a great scoring chance in the opening minute of the game as Jamie Benn and Nichushkin tried to jam in the puck, but a video review of the play showed the puck never crossed the line.
The Stars did open the scoring at 17:03 of the first after Whitney came down the side boards and beat Anderson glove side. The play was a result of a Milan Michalek turnover in the Stars end.
This was the first of three games on the road for the Stars.
Notes: D Eric Gryba and D Joe Corvo were healthy scratches for the Senators. RW Erik Condra missed the game with a sprained muscle in his right leg… The Stars' D Kevin Connauton and LW Lane MacDermid were a healthy scratch. D Sergei Gonchar who played three seasons with the Senators was given a warm welcome by fans with a video tribute during the first intermission.