The Edmonton Oilers needed a win and they needed their best player to show them the way.
Taylor Hall had two points, including a penalty shot goal in the second period, to give the Oilers their first lead of the night against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning. When the third period ended, the Oilers had secured a 3-2 victory, their first win of the season after some tumultuous times and the worst start to a season in franchise history last week.
What set up the penalty shot was Hall’s ability to find open ice, and his speed to exploit it. On a breakaway, Hall forced Matthew Carle to take a hooking penalty, resulting in the opportunity.
Feeling the moment, Hall tried to incite the crowd of fans, who haven’t had much to cheer about so far.
“I don’t really know what happened there,” said Hall.
“I haven’t been too good on breakaways or penalty shots or shootouts in my career. I’ve been all right. I just wanted to do something that kind of took my mind off the shot. I would’ve looked pretty silly if it didn’t go in but luckily it did.”
Hall, with a sweet move to the backhand, beat Ben Bishop for his fourth goal of the season.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins would score the winner with 3:25 remaining in regulation, less than three minutes after Tampa Bay tied the game at 2-2.
It’s amazing to see (Hall) grow and mature as a player. He was an amazing force tonight,” said head coach Dallas Eakins, as per the club’s Twitter account.