(Sports Network) - While Taylor Hall's career will likely have a number of ups and downs, the Edmonton rookie is getting ready to respond to one of his biggest challenges in the NHL to date.
After getting benched late in the Oilers' most recent game, the top pick of the 2010 draft will hope he gets a chance to help his club get on track tonight in a road matchup with the streaking Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.
The soon-to-be 19-year-old Hall has three goals and six points in 13 games this year to go along with a minus-five rating. He has been held without a point in nine of those games and was benched for the majority of the third period in Tuesday's 7-1 loss to Carolina along with fellow rookie Jordan Eberle and 30-year-old forward Steve MacIntyre.
"Young guys have to understand what we require of them. They're at this level because they can play not because they want to stand around and be a spectator," said head coach Tom Renney. "There's a certain amount of discipline that's required to play this game too so it was just a little bit of a lesson learned and we don't need to go into anymore detail than that."
Dustin Penner had the lone goal versus the Hurricanes and Nikolai Khabibulin made just four saves on eight shots before being lifted inside of the game's first eight minutes. Devan Dubnyk made 31 saves the rest of the way for the Oilers, who beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks on Sunday for the second time this year but have still lost three of four and nine of 11 since opening the season with consecutive wins.
Edmonton has split the first two games of a five-game road trip.
Forward Shawn Horcoff missed the game with a leg injury and is doubtful for this game.
One of Hall's goals this year came in a 3-1 home setback to the Red Wings last Friday. Khabibulin made 27 saves in that tight loss.
Daniel Cleary had a goal and two assists for the Red Wings, part of a five- game point streak in which he has totaled three goals and seven points. Detroit beat Edmonton for the sixth time in the last nine meetings and has taken three of four and six of the last nine at Joe Louis Arena in the series.
Cleary was one of three goal scorers in Monday's 3-2 overtime victory against Phoenix. Nicklas Lidstrom tied the game with 7:24 left in the third and Henrik Zetterberg redirected a Ruslan Salei pass 1:23 into overtime during a delayed penalty call for the game-winner.
"I think wins like this are real good for the guys," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock. "It's a real gut-check thing. Mental toughness will help you make the right decision when it counts and that's what happened tonight."
Jimmy Howard made 29 saves for Detroit, which has won four of five and seven of its last nine. Howard made 29 saves versus the Oilers on Friday.
The Red Wings won the opener of a six-game homestand, their longest of the season, and saw blueliner Brian Rafalski return to action for the first time since Oct. 9 due to knee surgery.
Lidstrom has two goals and 10 assists on a nine-game point streak, while Pavel Datsyuk has four goals and 10 points on his nine-game run.