So frustrating!

DEREK VAN DIEST, EDMONTON SUN

, Last Updated: 9:44 AM ET

DALLAS -- Shawn Horcoff doesn't know whether to laugh or cry.

It's almost comical how the bounces are going against the Edmonton Oilers centre lately.

"It's actually really frustrating," said Horcoff. "I've never been through anything like this in my career."

Horcoff had just two goals in 14 games heading into last night's encounter against the Dallas Stars.

And in that stretch, he's had two seemingly legitimate goals disallowed.

On Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes, Horcoff jammed the puck into the net, but it was waved off because the whistle had blown.

The same thing happened to him in Chicago earlier this month.

"In my mind it's starting to get a little on the ridiculous side," Horcoff said. "That's two goals that have been disallowed that are legitimate. But what are you going to do? When you play in the NHL you're going to go through stretches like that."

Horcoff had another great chance to score against the Coyotes later in the contest on a delayed penalty. He found himself in front of an open net, but the whistle blew again as the Coyotes were judged to have touched the puck.

'STICK WITH IT'

"It's frustrating, but you have to stick with it," He said. "When the luck isn't going your way, there are other ways of trying to contribute."

In Horcoff's case, the other contributions come in the form of penalty killing and faceoffs.

The sixth-year Oiler is a big part of the penalty-killing unit which was the best in the league heading into last night's contest.

He's also been solid in the faceoff circle.

"He's a guy that's still of value when he's not scoring," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish.

"He's still doing a pretty good job on the penalty kill. He needs a type of pass that (Petr) Sykora had in Edmonton against Colorado where he can tap it in. He's had some back luck around the net when he's going to the net.

"It's a little uncharacteristic for him to be in those positions, battling as hard as he is and to get rewarded with the puck going into the back of the net and then he gets the goals disallowed.

"That's unfortunate for him when he's paying the price there."

NEW DEAL

Heading into last night's contest Horcoff had four goals and 12 assists in 34 games.

Last year he had a career season, scoring 22 goals and 51 assists in 79 games. He added seven goals and 12 assists during the playoffs.

This summer the native of Trail, B.C., signed a three-year contract extension with the team.

"He's got to get some confidence," MacTavish said. "Hopefully the assist he got on the winner in Phoenix will help him."

Against the Coyotes, Horcoff took a pass from Ales Hemsky and dropped it to Sykora who fired it through Curtis Joseph for the game winner.

"I think as long as we're creating chances and playing in the opposing zone we're okay - as long as we're winning our matchups every night out there (that's what's important)," Horcoff said.

"When you're not scoring and the other lines you are playing against are scoring against you that's when you're in trouble."


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