Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Why Taylor Hall and Other Devs Starters Sat out Finale

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Why Taylor Hall and Other Devs Starters Sat out Finale

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON — Taylor Hall didn't have a chance to score his 40th goal of the season or break Patrick Elias' record for the most points scored by a Devil in a single season. Hall sat out the Devils' regular-season finale against the Washington Capitals on Saturday night, but for good reason.

The Devils already have a playoff spot, so Hall and other starters can rest for a few days before the postseason begins. But beyond that, coach John Hynes and his staff have not settled on a lineup for next week, which means Saturday night is an audition for a few players looking to draw back into the lineup.

"Every decision we make in every game is what we feel is best for our team. We feel we have some guys that need to have some performances tonight coming into the playoffs to solidify the lineup," coach John Hynes said prior to the Devils' 5-3 loss to the Capitals. "We've rotated guys in and out of the lineup quite a bit down the stretch and it's a combination of what we feel is what's best for our team and our group, and also a chance for some guys to make an impression here."

The omission of Hall was somewhat surprising, given the fact that he's nearing two major milestones. It's not unheard of for a leader to sit in the final game of the season, but it's also not uncommon to let them play in an attempt to reach records.

The Capitals played Alex Ovechkin so he could secure his seventh Rocket Richard Trophy, which he did. He also was hoping to score a hat trick, to end up with his eighth 50-goal season. He scored two goals to get to 49.

But Ovechkin is not Hall, and Hall is fine with taking the night off. The personal milestones are nice but he's more concerned with being ready for a deep run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I'm good with it," Hall said after skating with the scratches at Capital One Arena on Saturday morning. …

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