EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - Taylor Hall's first NHL fight ended badly, with him falling to the ice and hurting his left ankle. He still says he'd do it all again.
Hall had a goal and an assist before leaving in the second period in the Edmonton Oilers' 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 on Thursday night.
Shortly after making a nifty move to almost score and then delivering a big hit, Hall got launched into a scrap with Derek Dorsett with 6 1/2 minutes left in the second. However, Hall landed awkwardly during the tussle and left the game limping. Tests will be performed Friday to determine the extent of the injury.
Hall, who only fought twice in junior hockey, felt players were taking advantage of him at the pro level and that enough was enough.
``It's bad luck that I had to leave the game, but I would probably do it again if I had to,' he said. ``There comes a time when you have to. There's nothing wrong with stepping up and trying to defend yourself because eventually if you keep getting hit and people keep coming in for you, it's not a great feeling to be the guy that keeps on being rescued.'
Dorsett said the fight kind of took him by surprise.
``I just finished my check on him. I was going to skate away and he just grabbed me and started punching me,' Dorsett said. ``I dropped my gloves and away she went. I'm not sure what happened. I hit him and he just kind of fell.'
Hall said it's the first time he had a ``Gordie Howe hat trick' - the combination of a goal, an assist and a fight.
``I've never had one of those before,' he said. ``I don't know if I want to have too many more, especially with the repercussions.'
For his part, Oilers coach Tom Renney wasn't upset to see his young star player drop the gloves.
``We drafted character, so we definitely expect character to show up and it did,' Renney said about Hall, the first overall selection in the June draft. ``Good for him. Scraps happen. He had enough of the liberties.'
Sam Gagner, Jordan Eberle and Andrew Cogliano also scored for the last-place Oilers, who have won two in row and six of their last nine.
Devan Dubnyk turned aside R.J. Umberger on a penalty shot in the first period and finished with 26 saves for the Oilers. Sam Gagner, Jordan Eberle and Andrew Cogliano also scored and Shawn Horcoff had two assists.
Matt Calvert and Scottie Upshall scored for Columbus. Upshall, acquired from Phoenix on Monday, has two goals in two games for the Blue Jackets. Columbus has lost three straight, all on the road.
``I don't think we were prepared for the game,' Dorsett said. ``They're a young team that has a lot of speed and they were buzzing around. We got sloppy and were turning too many pucks over.'
Columbus had a great opportunity to take the lead midway through the first when Edmonton defender Richard Petiot hooked down Umberger on a breakaway. However, Umberger shot the puck over the net.
Gagner opened the scoring on a power play with 7:54 left in the first period, Hall scored with 3:08 left in the period and Eberle made it 3-0 14 seconds into the second.
Calvert scored at 1:34 of the second, and Upshall made it 3-2 with 4:22 left in the third.
Cogliano completed the scoring with an empty-net goal with 12 seconds left.
Columbus starter Steve Mason allowed three goals on 14 shots before being replaced by Mathieu Garon following Eberle's goal. Garon stopped all 23 shots he faced.
NOTES: Dorsett also fought Jason Strudwick in the first period. ... Oilers right wing Ales Hemsky is expected to miss three weeks after injuring a shoulder Tuesday night in a 2-1 shootout victory over Nashville. ... The Blue Jackets will play the fourth game of their five-game trip in Calgary on Friday night. ... The Oilers will open a five-game trip in Colorado on Saturday night.
The Associated Press News Service
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