It took into his 8th regular season NHL game for it to happen, but Taylor Hall has finally scored a goal. It wasn’t a pretty dangle like Jordan Eberle’s first. It wasn’t a power move to the net. It was a tip-in, a re-direction. But he’ll take it. Although Hall’s goal may not have been highlight reel quality, it was a crucial goal considering the state of the game. The Oilers were down 2-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period when Hall got his first, tying the game and sending it to overtime. Obviously having to shrug off the talk of being sent back to junior, and the fact that he still hadn’t scored when all of his peers already had, Hall didn’t quit, and was able to break the goose egg. Click here for video of Taylor Hall’s first goal
Hall has displayed a great ability in his young hockey career to come through in the clutch and score big goals. His junior team won the Memorial Cup two years in a row, and he was the tournament MVP both years. He also won gold in the World under 17 and under 18 tournaments as well as gold in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. This kid is a winner. And it was the timing of his first NHL goal that was vintage Taylor Hall. When his team needed him most, he was there. Hopefully now that he got the monkey off his back, he’ll be able to relax more out there and play his game.
Devan Dubnyk got the call in goal for the Oilers for this one, and he was spectacular. The Columbus Blue Jackets opened the scoring four minutes into the game. Samuel Pahlsson scored his first of the year from Chris Clark and Kyle Wilson. The Oilers would respond a few minutes later with a powerplay goal by Shawn Horcoff with Hall and Jordan Eberle drawing the assists. The Jackets would take back their lead before the first was over on a goal by Kyle Wilson. Derek Brassard and Chris Clark had the assists. There was no scoring in the second period and none in the first half of the third until Taylor Hall netted his first, a re-direction of a shot from Theo Peckham. Ales Hemsky drew the other assist. Overtime would solve nothing and for the second game in a row, Edmonton was off to a shoot-out. Once again, though, the Oilers failed to score in the shoot-out, and dropped a 3-2 decision. Nikita Filatov and Rick Nash connected on their attempts for the Jackets. Nikolai Khabibulin had the night off, and Dubnyk fared extremely well in his absence, facing 41 shots and only allowing 2 goals. The Oilers had just 27 shots in the loss. Edmonton’s next game is Friday night against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.