Taylor Hall, the top pick in last June's Entry Draft, had his first Gordie Howe hat trick on Thursday night -- but had to leave the Edmonton Oilers' game against Columbus in the second period with a left ankle injury.
Hall landed awkwardly after getting into the first fight of his NHL career, a scrap against Derek Dorsett with 6:27 left in the second period. Before that, he had his 22nd goal of the season and an assist. Edmonton won the game 4-2.
"There's nothing in your contract that says you can't fight, you can't defend yourself," said Hall, who dropped his gloves first and initiated the fight.
"That's all I was trying to do. It started with trying to hit that guy in the open ice. From there, he kind of gave me a few jabs in the face. It's bad luck I had to leave the game because of the fight, but I'd probably do it again if I had to."
The Oilers didn't comment on the severity of Hall's injury and didn't offer a diagnosis. He'll be re-examined. Hall was wearing a plastic walking cast after the game.
Hall, who has 42 points in 65 games, said he's never had a Gordie Howe hat trick -- a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game.
"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."
Oilers coach Tom Renney wasn't upset to see hall drop the gloves for the first time.
"We drafted character, so we definitely expect character to show up and it did," Renney said. "Good for him. Scraps happen. He had enough of the liberties."