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Hall says he needs to 'step up and produce' for Devils

Forward has gone nine straight games without a goal

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Taylor Hall said it's up to him to get the New Jersey Devils some wins.  

"If I think I'm one of the best players on this team, it's going to have to be guys like me to step up and produce so that's really what I'm looking to do," Hall said after practice Thursday. "When you're looking to go mano a mano against the other teams' best players, guys like myself have to play better if we're going to win games and if we're going to start to really make a climb in the standings."

New Jersey (7-9-4), which is last in the Metropolitan Division with 18 points, plays at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS, ATTSN-PT, MSG+, NHL.TV).

Hall was particularly critical of his effort in New Jersey's 5-1 loss against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, when he took one shot on goal and was minus-1 in 16:55 of ice time. 

"There's a lull in our game from line to line; we don't leave the next line something good to go after," Hall said. "Guys like (Bruins forwards) David Pastrnak and (Brad) Marchand total two goals and three assists, Marchand was a plus-3, and I didn't really have an effect on the game. If I'm going to be a top-tier player in this League and on this team, that has to change."

Hall, who won the Hart Trophy as the most valuable player in the NHL two seasons ago, has gone nine straight games without a goal and has 17 points (two goals, 15 assists) in 20 games this season. He missed the final 47 games last season with a left knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery in February.

"I know how I have to play, and when I've played well things have gone pretty well for our team and when I haven't ... that's not going to help our team," he said.

The 28-year-old left wing has eight points, all assists, on the power play while leading the Devils in average ice time on the man-advantage (3:39).

"Taylor has had some pushes and probably could have taken a game over, by giving us a wider margin or getting a timely goal and that's what a player like Taylor can do and he knows he can do that," coach John Hynes said. "The job now is to stay with it. You refocus and get ready for Pittsburgh."

Hall, selected No. 1 by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2010 NHL Draft and traded to New Jersey on June 29, 2016, has one season remaining on a seven-year, $42 million contract he signed with Edmonton on Aug. 22, 2012. He can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2020.

He leads the Devils in shots on goal (61) and missed shot attempts (26).

"I'm not going to sit here and wallow so in order to get luck on your side you have to put yourself in good spots, have to come into games with a positive mindset and you can't let it affect your half of the ice," Hall said. "If you're not scoring, you can't be on the ice for goals against, you can't be allowing chances all the time. I'm confident they're going to come. There's still 62 games left and really that's the only mindset you can have."

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