Hall scores 1st NHL goal in Oilers' loss
Taylor Hall (EDM)— 1 goal, 1 assist
Kyle Wilson (CBJ) — 1 goal, 1 assist
The wait may be over for Taylor Hall, but it's not over for his Edmonton Oilers.
The 18-year-old rookie scored his first career NHL goal and had an assist to help the Oilers into extra time with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday, but Hall's squad was handed their second straight shootout loss, a 3-2 decision that keeps the team winless in their last six.
"Definitely not the prettiest goal of my life, but I'll take it for sure," Hall said. "It was a big goal for our team as well. I've been waiting a long time and I've been asked about it a million times. I put a lot of pressure on myself just because it's out there. I definitely wanted to score tonight, and I had a feeling before the game that this was going to be the night."
The milestone marker came off a re-direct of a Theo Peckham shot to give the Oilers a 2-2 tie midway through the third period. But the shootout saw Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason deny Sam Gagner, and Gilbert Brule rang his attempt off the post while Columbus snipers Rick Nash and Nikita Filatov beat Devan Dubnyk to seal the victory.
Edmonton drops to 2-4-2 while the Blue Jackets (6-3-0) won their fifth game in six tries.
"Sometimes you win ugly and sometimes you win in dramatic fashion," Columbus coach Scott Arniel said. "It was a wild and scrambly game."
Kyle Wilson and Samuel Pahlsson scored in regulation for Columbus while Hall and Shawn Horcoff replied for the Oilers.
Though the Oilers couldn't pick up a win, there were bright spots for the team. Backup goalie Dubnyk played a strong game and turned away 39 shots, including a breakway by Filatov in the third period, while the league's worst penalty kill did not surrender a goal in seven chances.
And then there was Hall's goal with 9:57 left in the third period.
"I think they make a plaque out of it or whatever," Hall said. "It's certainly a good feeling.… It was a pretty fun night."
Sloppy play in the Oilers zone in five-on-five situations is what kept the team searching for their first win since Oct. 10.
Columbus opened the scoring 4:11 into the first with a good bit of cycling by their third line. After a close attempt on a wraparound, Wilson sent it from behind the Oilers' net to Pahlsson in the slot and the big Swede one-timed it through Dubnyk's legs.
"The kids are just playing," Oilers coach Tom Renney said. "They understand they are getting an opportunity here, and they certainly don't want to let anybody down. This is a good point in time to have them."
The Blue Jackets kept up the pressure on their next shift, but Jared Boll's enthusiasm around the Oilers' net cost him two minutes for goaltender interference and his team's lead. Edmonton's Horcoff capitalized on the power-play chance, taking a feed across the Columbus slot from Jordan Eberle and beating Mason through the five-hole.
The Blue Jackets' Wilson notched his second point of the night for a 2-1 lead before the end of the period, as he was the beneficiary of some sloppy puck control that plagued Edmonton for most of the period. The 25-year-old centre made good on his second of two chances with a slap shot from the slot for his second career goal.
Crashing the crease
The second period saw more Blue Jackets getting in Dubnyk's blue ice — but this time it seemed to be more the fault of the Oilers' Peckham, who took out Derek Dorsett's legs as the Columbus forward went to the net with the puck. However, Dorsett was the one whistled for interference on Dubnyk.
Another instance of crashing the Oilers crease cost Peckham a couple of minutes later as he jumped on Boll inside the Edmonton net, earning a trip to the penalty box.
The Oilers came a quick whistle away from tying the game late in the middle frame. A puck squirted between Mason's pads and laid uncovered in the crease, but the whistle blew before Edmonton tough-guy Steve MacIntyre swept it into the empty cage.
With files from The Associated Press