Pouliot looking to snap slump

DEREK VAN DIEST

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

Just when Marc Pouliot thought he'd scored his first goal of the season for the Oilers, Toronto goaltender Vesa Toskala stuck out a pad to deny him from in close.

"I feel like it's just a matter of time," Pouliot said after Thursday's 5-2 loss to the Maple Leafs.

"But for right now I just want to prove that I deserve my ice time. I want to produce offensively, but I think if I keep working hard, I'll keep getting chances and it'll be a matter of time before they'll start going in."

ONE OF THREE

Now that Sam Gagner has collected his first goal of the season, Pouliot is one of three Oilers forwards yet to score.

Steve MacIntyre -- who won't be doing much of anything for a while with a broken bone in his face -- and Zack Stortini are the others.

Through 16 games this season, Edmonton's top pick - 22nd overall - in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft has three assists.

"I thought I would have more points by now," Pouliot said.

"But I'm not going to take anything for granted. I want to earn my ice time. I think the points are going to come. Scoring is always one of the goals, but my main goal is to prove that I'm not a liability on the ice and I deserve my ice time."

It's taken a while for Pouliot to earn an everyday spot in the Oilers' lineup. For the past three seasons he's bounced between the NHL and the Oilers AHL affiliate.

STRONG CAMP

This year he had a strong training camp and earned his spot on the roster.

Against the Maple Leafs, the native of Quebec City played on a unit with Andrew Cogliano and Dustin Penner.

"I feel good out there," Pouliot said.

"I know I still have to get stronger, like most of the young guys, but I feel like I've improved a lot in the past couple of years."


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