EDMONTON -- Did Edmonton Oilers rookie Taylor Hall inadvertently provide the Toronto Maple Leafs added motivation with what he told reporters Monday heading into tonight's rematch at Rexall Place? Not intentionally, said Hall.
"Hopefully we can compete a lot harder. Because (Toronto) is a team that, if we do, it’s there for the taking," Hall told reporters the day after Edmonton played poorly in a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
Given that the Oilers shut out the Maple Leafs 5-0 on Dec. 2 at the Air Canada Centre, Hall was asked by a Toronto reporter if he might have phrased what he intended to say poorly.
"As long as I play, I don't think I'll ever be a guy to stir the pot intentionally," Hall said. "If they put me up on their bulletin board, it's not something that I tried to do.
"We respect them as a team. I respect them as a team. I just kind of meant to say that if we play our game, any game is there. We kind of control our own destiny. That's what I meant to say."
If Toronto coach Ron Wilson or any of the Maple Leafs took offense to Hall's words, there was no indication of it -- and nothing tacked to the bulletin board in the Toronto dressing room.
"That's a young guy expressing himself," coach Tom Renney said. "We know what we've got on our hands here. It's a very good hockey club. They're a good team. They're better than their record."
SHUT DOWN: The Oilers have played back-to-back games in which they were limited to one shot in the third period. Edmonton was outshot 17-1 by Tampa Bay in a 4-3 shootout win over the Lightning last Friday and 14-1 in the 2-1 loss to Vancouver Sunday.
AROUND THE RINK: The Oilers have been outshot in five of their last six games and 23 of 29 overall, including 33-19 by Toronto in the 5-0 win. … The Maple Leafs lost 3-1 in their last visit to Rexall Place, Dec. 30, 2009, and have a 16-22-2-0 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time record in Edmonton. … Dustin Penner has points (2-6-8) in seven of Edmonton's last nine games. … Mikhail Grabovski scored goals in three straight games before being held without one in a 3-1 win against Montreal on Saturday. … Jordan Eberle's goal in the 2-1 loss to Vancouver was just his second in the last 13 games. … Jean-Sebastien Giguere will make his third straight start in goal for Toronto.