Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Today wasn't about protesting or crying because of some political difference, but to celebrate something joyful. Vegas has their own team, Nashville raised a conference title banner, and the Penguins were able to continue a sports tradition in visiting the White House.
Thank you NHL for putting politics aside and for keeping hockey on the ice and politics off the ice.
The Vegas Golden Knights' debut on the Strip was a poignant smash.
James Neal scored twice during a thrilling four-goal first period, and the Golden Knights remained unbeaten three games into their inaugural season with a 5-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes in their home opener on Tuesday night.
Tomas Nosek scored the first home goal in franchise history just 2:31 into the first period, and Deryk Engelland added his first goal for his adopted hometown's new team moments later.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves for the Golden Knights, who became the first team in NHL history to begin their debut season with three straight wins.
Just nine days after the Las Vegas Strip shooting massacre, the Golden Knights reverently honored the victims and heroes before the long-awaited home debut of the city's first major professional sports franchise.
The Knights held a pregame ceremony during which the names of the shooting victims were projected in gold onto the ice during 58 seconds of silence. Engelland spoke eloquently to the fans, vowing that the Golden Knights "will do everything we can to help you and our city heal. We are Vegas Strong."
After that emotional outpouring, the Golden Knights charged into their home opener with some inspired hockey.
Nosek and Engelland connected in the opening minutes before Neal scored back-to-back goals in 4:27, giving him five goals in three games - and all three game-winning goals in team history. Vegas led 4-0 in less than 11 minutes, getting well on its way to a cathartic victory.
Oscar Lindberg scored in the second period for the Golden Knights, who opened their inaugural season with back-to-back road victories before returning home.
Tobias Rieder and Kevin Connauton scored for the Coyotes, who remained winless after losing back-to-back games to the expansion Golden Knights in a four-day stretch.
The crowd had scarcely quieted from the pregame festivities when Nosek, the Czech wing who spent the past two seasons with Detroit, fired a shot through Antti Raanta. Engelland, the veteran defenseman who has lived in Las Vegas since playing here for a minor league team several years ago, then took a pass from Brendan Leipsic and fired it through traffic.
Neal, who scored the first goal in franchise history, made it 3-0 just 6:15 into the first period and chased Raanta, who stopped only three shots. Neal added the first power-play goal in franchise history 4:27 later, setting off roars of excitement in T-Mobile Arena.
Connauton's goal in the third period was his first in his 27 games for the Coyotes.
The Golden Knights' opener was a bit more somber than the franchise originally planned, although the crowd was still whipped into a frenzy by its team's excellent play.
Before the game, the Golden Knights introduced their players alongside a member of the medical or law enforcement communities that responded to the massacre.
T-Mobile Arena had no ads on the boards around the ice for the opener. Instead, the all-white boards simply displayed the same message: "Vegas Strong."
NOTES: Coyotes forward Brendan Perlini left in the first period and didn't return due to an upper-body injury. ... Arizona's Mario Kempe made his NHL debut. The 29-year-old Swede spent the last three seasons in the KHL. He nearly made the Coyotes out of training camp, but briefly went to the AHL before replacing No. 3 overall pick Dylan Strome on the Coyotes' roster Monday. Kempe's younger brother, Adrian, plays for the Los Angeles Kings. ... Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis attended the game.
Coyotes: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.
Golden Knights: Host the Red Wings on Friday.
Mark Stone scored in the fifth round of the shootout as the Ottawa Senators picked up their first win of a season with a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.
Kyle Turris kept Ottawa alive in the third round of the shootout after Markus Granlund gave Vancouver the early lead.
Cody Ceci and Ryan Dzingel scored in regulation for Ottawa (1-0-2), which got 26 saves from Craig Anderson.
Christopher Tanev and Thomas Vanek scored in regulation for Vancouver (1-0-1), while Henrik Sedin added two assists. Jacob Markstrom made 40 saves.
Tanev hit the post 28 seconds into overtime, before Sven Baertschi was stopped on a breakaway as Vancouver came close a couple of times in the extra period. Ottawa lost its first two games of the season in a shootout.
With his team down 2-1 in the third period, Dzingel took a cross-ice feed from Bobby Ryan at the side of the Vancouver net before roofing a shot past Markstrom after a Ben Huttonturnover at 5:09. Bo Horvat had a chance to give the Canucks a two-goal lead a few minutes earlier, but his blast off the post that beat Anderson stayed out.
Anderson then took a penalty for tripping midway through the third after Dzingel's tying goal, but Ottawa killed it off as the team played it tight the rest of the way in regulation.
Vanek took a pass off a set play from a faceoff in the Senators' zone and fired a shot through traffic that beat Anderson at 14:28 of the second period to snap a 1-1 tie for his first goal with Vancouver.
Anderson made a nice stop on Derek Dorsett on a 2-on-1 earlier in the period, while Markstrom foiled Mike Hoffman and Tom Pyatt at the other end. Hoffman then hit the post on a shot that stayed out before Vanek gave the Canucks the lead.
Tuesday marked the return of Alexandre Burrows to Vancouver after the rebuilding Canucks dealt the veteran winger to Ottawa at the NHL trade deadline in February. The 36-year-old Burrows, who clawed his way from the third-tier ECHL as an undrafted free agent to Vancouver's top line, was a fan favorite during 12 seasons on the West Coast thanks to his grit, tireless work ethic and memorable playoff performances.
Burrows received a raucous ovation from the crowd at Rogers Arena following a video tribute on the scoreboard above center ice during a first-period television timeout.
Players from both teams watched the montage that included Burrows' overtime goal in Game 7 against the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the 2011 post-season. He acknowledged fans by waving and tapping his chest.
Ottawa opened the scoring 4:08 into the game when Ceci's innocent-looking shot from the sideboards squeezed between Markstrom's glove and pants on the Senators' second shot.
Notes: Ceci and Tanev each scored twice all of last season. ... Karlsson and/or Oduya could join the Senators in time for Friday's visit to Calgary or Saturday's game in Edmonton. ... Jaros played his first NHL game, while Chabot suited up for his second.
Senators: visits Calgary on Friday night
Canucks: hosts Winnipeg on Thursday.
The first win for the Dallas Stars this season was No. 782 of Ken Hitchcock's career. And that's a significant figure for NHL coaches.
Now in his second stint with Dallas, Hitchcock tied Al Arbour for third place on the all-time wins list Tuesday night. John Klingberg and Tyler Seguin scored first-period goals, and the Stars never trailed in a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.
Anthony Mantha's goal with 4:49 remaining pulled Detroit (2-1) within one, but the Red Wings couldn't tie the game even with goalie Petr Mrazek pulled for the final 2:56.
"I was thinking on the bench that we've played three great hockey games, and it would have felt poorly to not finish this off," Hitchcock said. "I thought this was the best balance we've had. This looked like something you could really build on."
Mattias Janmark scored in the second period for the Stars (1-2), and Martin Hanzal put the puck into an empty net with 2 seconds remaining.
Ben Bishop made 23 saves. In two starts, Bishop has allowed only two goals in 103:58 of ice time.
"We've got some work to improve in the third period, and just be a little bit more composed," Bishop said.
Klingberg also thought the Stars could play better.
"I felt like we sat back a little bit too much. We got away with a win today," he said.
Justin Abdelkader scored in the second period for the Red Wings. Mrazek finished with 29 saves.
The Stars have totaled 119 shots in their first three games but managed only seven goals - including two each by Klingberg, Seguin and Janmark.
Dallas dominated the first period, winning 17 of 22 faceoffs. Jason Spezza won six of seven draws, including one that set up Klingberg's goal at 9:15.
For the game, Dallas won 58 percent of the faceoffs, led by Spezza going 13 for 16.
"We've got to do a better job in the faceoff circle," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "The one thing I'd say with that is we're very worried about taking the penalty. I guess I've got to wait for the league and see if they've called any yet."
On Seguin's power-play goal at 19:29, Klingberg passed cross-ice to Seguin at the top of the left circle. His shot banked in off the right post.
Abdelkader scored at 3:50 of the second on a 4-on-3 advantage. He camped at the left of the net, took a pass from Henrik Zetterberg and put the puck past Bishop.
Mantha's goal came when his shot from a low angle on the left side went inside the right post.
"We still felt that we had the tying goal in us," Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg said, "but didn't really get much out of the 6-on-5. Got to win some more draws there; I lost three in a row."
NOTES: Jamie Benn got his 300th career assist on the first-period goal by Seguin. . Klingberg has scored a goal in each of the last two games and has at least one point in all three Dallas has played. . Both of Seguin's goals have come on the power play. . Detroit's Mike Green had two assists, giving him six in three games. . Red Wings D Danny DeKeyser left with a lower-body injury. . The video board showed a tribute to Detroit defenseman Trevor Daley, who played 756 games for Dallas.
Red Wings: Play at Arizona on Thursday for the third of four road games in a row.
Stars: Will visit Nashville on Thursday.