Ottawa hopefuls face uphill battle

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- The battle for jobs at Senators camp is about to heat up.

After lightening their load by 20 players before hitting the road for back-to-back games vs. the Penguins starting tonight at the Broome County Arena, the Senators can get down to brass tacks in camp.

Trying to get a good look at everybody with 27 players left in camp, Senators coach Bryan Murray will insert Denis Hamel, Chris Kelly, Patrick Eaves, Steve Martins and Christoph Schubert into the lineup tonight.

"There's some players left battling here for jobs and we're going to get an opportunity to see what they can do," said Murray. "We're going to take a look at some guys and then we'll probably get down in numbers again next week. We'll find out who is going to play."

Hamel, Kelly, Eaves and Brandon Bochenski are fighting for three of four spots up front with Vaclav Varada sidelined for 4-6 weeks with a right knee injury. Schubert is up against rookie Andrej Meszaros and veteran Lance Ward for a blue-line spot.

"I've got a chance and I've got to go in there and play my game," said Kelly, who spent last season with the Baby Sens and has been in the organization five years.

"I know what I have do ... I have to play well defensively. I'm going to get an opportunity and that's what I want."

Schubert said making the NHL is up to him.

"I know that I've been given this chance and if I get the job done, I'm going to give myself a chance to make this team. If I don't play well and I don't do the job then I have nobody to blame but myself for not making this team," said Schubert.


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