Dry spell for Oilers' Reddox

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:36 PM ET

ST. LOUIS — Liam Reddox can’t remember ever going through a stretch like this.

Despite being forced to play up in the lineup and in turn getting a number of quality scoring opportunities, Reddox has yet to find the net this season and is running out of time to do so.

It’s 35 games and counting for the versatile forward, who has not scored an NHL goal since Feb. 19, 2009.

“It’s definitely frustrating right now,” said Reddox following Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to the Nashville Predators. “Especially with a game like that, where it’s 3-1 and I have a few chances to get our team in the game and I can’t bear down and put one in. It’s definitely weighing on me.”

Reddox’s best chance on the evening came on a setup from Linus Omark in the second period. Despite finding himself open at the side of the net, Reddox was denied on a great save by Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, who extended a pad to keep the puck out of the net.

“I can’t remember ever going this long without scoring a goal,” Reddox said. “I feel like I’m getting to the hard areas where you have to go to score goals, but for whatever reason, it’s just not happening for me.”

Reddox finished the night with three shots, centring a line with Omark and Magnus Paajarvi.

He was also effective as a penalty killer and set up Andrew Cogliano on a short-handed rush in the third period that forced another quality save out of Rinne.

“I know I’m getting chances, and hopefully eventually I’ll get a break here or there,” Reddox said. “I feel like if I get one, then I’ll be able to get the monkey off my back and I’ll have a little more confidence not to grip the stick as much when I’m getting these chances.”

Heading into St. Louis for the second game of a two-game road trip, Reddox and the Oilers are hoping their luck changes around the net.

Despite being out-played for the first 20 minutes of the contest and then consequently falling behind 3-0, the Oilers were able to battle back and generate a number of quality scoring opportunities.

Yet, they only scored one goal, which has been a constant during their current seven-game losing skid.

“I think that’s been the trend the last couple of games,” said Reddox. “I don’t know why we’re going into games dipping our toe to see what it’s going to be like. If we play the first 20 like we did the last 40, I think it might have been a different outcome.”

Five-on-five, Reddox’s line was the most dangerous Tuesday against the Oilers. Having been moved up from his usual checking role on the fourth line due to the number of injuries plaguing the Oilers roster, Reddox has fit in will with the two Swedish rookies.

“I’m just trying to get the puck to Magnus. He has so much speed down the wing and Linus is so good down low,” Reddox said. “If I keep getting to the paint, hopefully I’ll get a bounce.”

The native of Whitby, Ont., has shown an ability to score in the past, and prior to getting called up in January, Reddox, 25, had 18 goals and 33 points with the Oilers AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City.

“Things are just not going my way,” Reddox said. “There was a play (Tuesday) where Magnus got the puck to me in front. I was going backhand to forehand and it just bounced up on me and was up by my chest. That’s just the way it’s going for me right now.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/DerekVanDiest


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