"When things get dark, Vegas shines."
The Golden Knights' inaugural regular-season game at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Tuesday against the Coyotes was more than a hockey game. The first major league sports franchise in Las Vegas put the reeling city on its back with an emotional 5-2 win just nine days after the worst mass shooting in modern American history, which took place a few blocks from the rink.
After a moving tribute to the victims, the first responders and the survivors, the Knights scored four goals in the first 10:42 en route to the historic win at T-Mobile Arena, which displayed "Vegas Strong" on the boards and "When things get dark, Vegas shines" on its facade.
With two early goals, James Neal became the first player with a goal in a franchise's first three games since Billy Harris (1972 Islanders).
By the way, @jneal_18 has five goals (so far) in the @GoldenKnights' first three games. pic.twitter.com/kVUw9zRsJz— NHL (@NHL) October 11, 2017
With the win, the Knights became the first expansion team to start 3-0 and they currently sit alone on top of the Pacific Division to open their seven-game homestand.
Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland, who addressed the crowd before the game, scored his first goal of the season to give Vegas a 2-0 lead. Engelland had the crowd standing well before the game started.
"Like all of you, I'm proud to call Las Vegas home," Engelland said before the game. "I met my wife here. My kids were born here, and I know how special the city is. To all the brave first responders that have worked tirelessly and courageously through this whole tragedy, we thank you. To the families and friends of the victims, know that we'll do everything we can to help you and our city heal. We are Vegas Strong."
Tomas Nosek put the Knights (3-0-0, 6 pts) on the board first while Oscar Lindberg capped the Vegas scoring with a shot by Arizona (0-2-1, 1 pt) backup goalie Louis Domingue in the second period. Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 31 shots on the night, allowing goals to Tobias Rieder and Kevin Connauton.