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Cameron says everybody has to step up as Senators look to break out of slump

NHL.com @NHL

OTTAWA - Ottawa coach Dave Cameron says "there's a storm coming" if the Senators don't find a way out of their recent slump.

The Senators have lost four straight and remain winless on home ice (0-2-2). Cameron was late meeting with the media Monday as he and general manager Bryan Murray met to discuss the team's plight.

While Cameron didn't get into the specifics of the conversation, he did say there was discussion regarding line combinations, where the team is at and what needs to be done.

"Everybody has to up their game five per cent in the detail part of it," Cameron said.

He wants to see players win their one-on-one battles, talk in the defensive zone and pay better attention to the fine details.

After finishing strong last season, many expected the Senators to pick up where they left off, but defenceman Mark Borowiecki says he's tired of the comparisons to last year's remarkable stretch run where the Senators went 23-4-4.

"What happened last year, happened last year; I mean do we have high expectations because of that," said Borowiecki. "For us right now it's focusing on here and now. We can't sit back and enjoy the good times, we've got to put in the work and kind of work through this and get on the right side of things."

The third period has been a struggle for the Senators the last two games, raising concerns about the team's competitiveness.

"It's never ideal when you're giving up goals in the late stages of games," said forward Mark Stone. "It's not an easy fix, but at the same time we can definitely fix it. We just need to continue and press and play as hard as we have for the first 50 minutes of games. We haven't had good starts and we haven't had good finishes, but everything in between we feel like we're playing great hockey. We just need to come out with a little more intensity and finish with more intensity."

There could be more changes to the Senators lineup Wednesday when they host the Calgary Flames.

Centre Curtis Lazar, who was injured Saturday, didn't practice with the team Monday and winger Mike Hoffman, who was injured last Thursday, left the ice shortly after practice started. There is no timetable for either player.

A positive for the Senators was seeing defenceman Marc Methot participate in the entire practice. Methot had been expected to play Saturday night after missing the last two games due to a concussion, but was a late scratch.

Methot woke up Saturday from his pre-game nap not feeling well and the decision was made to keep him out of the lineup. He says he's hopeful to play Wednesday, but is reluctant to make any prediction at this time.

"I want to make sure this isn't a recurring problem," Methot said. "It's my life. When I'm done playing I don't want to deal with this kind of stuff so I certainly want to make sure I'm 100 per cent when I come back."

Methot admits it's tough being forced to watch the team struggle, but believes there's reason for optimism.

"We're there right now," he said. "We just need a little more consistency, a little more aggressiveness in the D-zone and be a little more assertive on pucks. It's all the same stuff. We're working away at in practice, it's not fun, but it's certainly going to make us a better team."

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