EDMONTON, AB - The Oilers lose Taylor Hall to injury as they drop a 3-2 decision to the Vancouver Canucks at Rexall Place.
Hall’s night ended prematurely in the second period as he slid sideways into the net and left the game with a leg injury. He did not return.
“It definitely deflates us," Oilers winger Jordan Eberle said. "Obviously losing a forward you’ve got to mix and change the lines a little bit. I think it turns into a bit of shuffle through them and that can be tough sometimes when you don’t know who you’re playing with, obviously with chemistry. Good teams get by that and I thought we played well most of the rest of the game but we obviously fell a little short.”
There was no immediate update on Hall after the game.
The Oilers opened the game with a lot of jump, putting pressure on the Canucks early in the first period. The fast start paid off at 12:39, as Edmonton took the 1-0 lead.
On a rush, Hall set up Eberle with a nice pass and the Oilers winger showed some slick moves of his own, beating Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller with the backhand. Martin Marincin recorded the second assist for his first point of the season.
The Canucks tied the game with 46.6 seconds left on the clock in the first period. Luca Sbisa capitalized on a loose puck in the slot, beating goaltender Ben Scrivens for the equalizer. Chris Higgins and Nick Bonino each recorded assists.
With 3:23 remaining in the second period, the Canucks took their first lead of the night when Linden Vey buried a rebound past Scrivens. Derek Dorsett and Higgins got the helpers.
The Oilers responded quickly to tie the game, 2-2. David Perron fired a wrister past Miller for his first goal of the season. He was assisted by Leon Draisaitl and Andrew Ference at 17:41 of the middle frame.
It took 11 games for Perron, who tied for the Oilers lead in goal scoring last season, to net his first of the year.
“He had a big smile on his face,” Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “I’m sure it was weighing him down a little bit. He likes to score, he knows we need the offence from him but kudos to the kid for staying in there, playing hard, distributing the puck well and those guys just score. He’ll end up getting his fair share of the goals this year.”
At 4:05 of the third period, Dorsett took a 3-2 lead with a shorthanded goal on Scrivens. It was Dorsett’s first goal of the season.
Scrivens made a huge save on a 2-on-1 rush by the Sedin twins with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game. Henrik passed the puck across to his brother Daniel who shot it, but Scrivens followed it the whole way and his save kept the Oilers within one.
The Canucks began to sit back, comfortable with their tight lead. The Oilers were disappointed that they couldn’t get much set up offensively in the game’s final minutes.
“We were pushing the envelope too much to try to enter under control,” Eakins said. “Those times when they’re sitting back, we’ve got to lay it in behind them and then go set up our offence in behind them. It’s probably about the only thing in the game that I really look at that concerned me greatly. Overall, I thought we played a real good game. I thought it was an evenly matched one, but when those teams back up you’ve got to lay the puck in behind them and go get it.”
With their leading scorer Hall unavailable, the Oilers could not net the equalizer and dropped to 0-2-1 against Vancouver this season.
“He’s a big part of our team and when a guy like that goes down you’ve got to find a way to make up for him,” Oilers centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. “I thought we did a pretty good job of that, I thought we battled hard all game and obviously, they were able to bear down, bury one and we couldn’t one get past Miller.”
The Oilers finished their seven-game homestand with a 4-3 record.