Cory Clouston put the reeling Senators through a hard skate Monday at Sensplex then told media his focus is on turning the team around, not speculation that his days as the coach could be numbered.
"All I can do is my job," said Clouston. "Right now it's to try and win a game in Chicago (Friday), try to keep our players focused, and try to make sure we're executing as well as we possibly can.
"That's all I can do."
The Senators have lost three straight, including an embarrassing 5-1 beating by the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday at Scotiabank Place, and are eight points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Friday's game against the Blackhawks represents the midway point of the season.
Ottawa's is without top centre Jason Spezza, who Clouston confirmed will not need surgery on his injured right shoulder. He is expected to still miss another 4-6 weeks, said the coach.
Alex Kovalev missed practice and Clouston said it was mostly for maintenance purposes, but added: "We'll see how he is tomorrow."
Goalie Pascal Leclaire skated Monday and the hope is he'll be able to travel with the team to Chicago and serve as Brian Elliott's backup against the Blackhawks Friday.