Sabres lose in Taylor Hall’s first game; Painful debut for Eric Staal

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Taylor Hall‘s Buffalo Sabres debut produced mixed results, but he can’t say he had a worse night than Eric Staal. While Hall produced alongside Jack Eichel, Eric Staal left the game after a hard hit, and the Sabres fell to the Washington Capitals by a score of 6-4.

Eric Staal leaves Sabres game after Dowd hit, bad turnover

In a moment that inspired a fracas, Nic Dowd caught Eric Staal up high with an ugly-looking hit. You can watch that all unfold in the video above this post’s headline.

After the game, Jake McCabe provided this interesting take on the hit to John Vogl of The Athletic:

“I didn’t see the hit itself. I just saw Eric kind of do a helicopter, which is usually a sign of a hit to the head,” McCabe said. “As we all saw on the replay, it was definitely to the head and pretty dirty.”

While Eric Staal did not return to the Sabres’ loss, it happened late enough that it’s even murkier than usual if it was mainly precautionary, or if the veteran forward will miss some time.

That was the roughest part of Eric Staal’s Buffalo Sabres debut, but not the only tough moment. Staal coughed up an ugly turnover to Jakub Vrana, who quickly scored:

 

Not ideal. Hopefully Staal will be healthy enough to have better nights with his new team very soon. We’ll see.

Hall, Eichel productive, but not enough for Sabres vs. Capitals

It took Taylor Hall less than nine minutes to score a goal in his first Sabres game. He connected on the power play to tie the game up 1-1.

Overall, Hall (1G, 1A) and Jack Eichel (two assists) both enjoyed two-point nights. Victor Olofsson and Jake McCabe also contributed one-goal, one-assist performances as Buffalo tried to hang with Washington.

Ultimately, the Capitals’ top stars Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie, and John Carlson proved too much for the Sabres.