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Oilers' Hall to miss four weeks with knee injury

by Staff /

Edmonton Oilers top-line forward Taylor Hall will miss four weeks due to an injury to his left knee.

Hall was injured in the second period of the Oilers' game Oct. 19 at the Ottawa Senators when he was hit by the Senators' Eric Gryba. Hall was called for a slashing penalty after the hit, and after serving the penalty left for the locker room and did not return to the game.

"It's never good to lose one of your top players, a guy that eats up a ton of minutes, who is a danger every time he goes out on the ice," Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins said. "Are we going to miss him? Of course we are. He's a big part of this hockey club and when we do have success, he's right in the middle of it. He's usually one of the catalysts."

In Hall's absence, the Oilers will look to other forwards to pick up their game. Particularly forward Nail Yakupov, the top pick in the 2012 draft who was a healthy scratch earlier this season but earned his first point this season in the 3-1 win over Ottawa.

"It's time for other people to grasp opportunity," Eakins said. "There are guys who are going to get some extra ice who have told me 'I can do this, I can do that.' All right, let's see. The time is now for them to grab that opportunity."

Forwards Ben Eager and Tyler Pitlick were called up Tuesday from Edmonton's American Hockey League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons. Pitlick, a second-round pick (No. 31) in 2010, will make his NHL debut Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens.

"I'm just looking forward to the opportunity. It's really exciting. I've been waiting for this for a long time. I'm just going to enjoy it," Pitlick said. "I know what I've got to do. I've got to skate and use my body. If I do that I should be alright."

The first pick of the 2010 NHL Draft, Hall is tied for the team lead with eight points. In a game Oct. 17 against the New York Islanders, he scored twice in eight seconds to set a new franchise record for fastest two goals from one player. The previous record belonged to Wayne Gretzky, who scored two in nine seconds on Feb. 18, 1981.

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