Oilers, Draisaitl spoil Hall's return to Edmonton
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[January 13, 2017]
EDMONTON, Alberta -- After
Edmonton beat the New Jersey 3-2 in overtime Thursday, Oilers
forwards Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins waited outside the
visitors dressing room. They wanted to greet their old friend and
teammate, Taylor Hall.
On a night where all eyes were focused on Hall, as he made his first
appearance in Edmonton since the Oilers traded him to New Jersey,
Draisaitl was the star. He had a three point-night, including the
Draisaitl rifled home a feed from Connor McDavid for the game
winner. McDavid had two assists on the night. He leads the NHL
scoring race with 50 points.
"With him you always have to be ready," Draisaitl said of McDavid.
"He can make things happen out of nothing. What a nice pass. It was
pretty easy to tap that one in."
Devils goalie Cory Schneider said there was little he could do.
"We try to have the system where the goalie takes the shot and the
d-man takes the pass. But, with McDavid there handling the puck,
it's a tough read for the D. It's quick pass. It's on and off his
Meanwhile, Hall got an assist as a consolation prize. He was traded
to the Devils last July in exchange for defenseman Adam Larsson.
The Oilers snapped a two-game losing streak. The Devils extended
their winless skid to four games, including a 2-1 overtime loss to
the Oilers last Saturday at the Prudential Center.
Eight minutes into the first period, during a TV timeout, the Rogers
Place video screen displayed a tribute to Hall, and the Rogers Place
crowd responded with a standing ovation. Hall, out on the ice and
with all of the cameras on him, applauded the crowd in return. The
left winger had 328 points in 381 career games as an Oiler, placing
him 17th on Edmonton's all-time scoring list.
"On a personal level, I'm glad to have these games out of the way,"
said Hall of the two games against the Oilers within a five-day
span. "Not in the sense that I was dreading them, but just it's a
lot to take. All in all, I had a fun night. The ovation, and I think
I even got booed a little bit there by the end. I think you can say
I'm a former player now after you get booed."
The Devils opened the scoring at 18:06, as Travis Zajac knocked the
puck into the net after Kyle Palmieri swept out in front of Oiler
goalie Cam Talbot's net.
With the Devils taking a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, it
marked the fourth straight game that the Oilers trailed after the
But, just 16 seconds into the second, the Oilers tied it. Draisaitl
dropped the puck for rushing Andrej Sekera, and the defenseman
rifled a shot between Schneider's pads.
With 50 seconds left in the second, Hall helped give the Devils the
lead, turning and firing a shot from the slot off Steven Santini's
arm. Santini got credit for his first goal of the season.
Hall's return to Edmonton took an ugly turn early in the third.
Right off the faceoff, Hall's elbow knocked Zack Kassian to the ice.
Kassian, infuriated stalked his former teammate down the ice, caught
up to Hall and threw a punch at his quarry. Hall, not wanting to
fight one of the Oilers tough guys, ducked and covered.
[to top of second column]
The Edmonton Oilers celebrate a overtime winning goal buy forward
Leon Draisaitl (29) against the New Jersey Devils at Rogers Place.
Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
got a double minor, Kassian got a lone minor.
"I meant to give him a nudge, not in the face, but definitely give
him a nudge," Hall said. It just wasn't a smart play. Definitely
deserved four minutes there, and if I could go back, I'd take that
back. Sometimes your emotions get the best of you. You want to
battle off a face-off, but not like that. I'd like to have that one
Oilers coach Todd McLellan wasn't pleased by his former player's
"You talk about blows to the head and I don't know if Taylor has had
concussions before, maybe he has," said McLellan. "I didn't think it
was a clean play by any means. Good for Kassian to stand up for
While Devils killed off the penalty, they couldn't keep the Oilers
at bay. With 7:24 left in the third, Patrick Maroon banged away at a
loose puck in the crease and scored his 17th goal of the season,
forcing the overtime session. Maroon now has six goals in his last
"It's one of those games where we kept grinding and grinding" said
Maroon. "We didn't give up, but we had to go after their goalie, we
did and we finally got that dirty one that we wanted and that's a
huge two points."
NOTES: The Oilers beat the Devils 2-1 in overtime last Saturday at
the Prudential Center. ... The Oilers had two new additions to their
roster Thursday, both called up from their AHL affiliate in
Bakersfield, Calif.; C Jujhar Khaira and G Laurent Brossoit.
Brossoit went 0-4-1 with an .873 save percentage for the Oilers last
season. ... C Blake Coleman and D Karl Stollery were called up by
the Devils from their AHL affiliate in Albany, N.Y., ahead of
Thursday's game. ... G Cam Talbot made his league leading 39th start
in goal. ... After missing the previous four games, D Brandon
Davidson returned to the Oilers lineup. ... The Oilers scratched D
Eric Gryba and LW Matt Hendricks. ... The Devils scratched LW Luke
Gazdic, C Pavel Zacha and D Seth Helgeson.
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