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Pre-Game Capsule: Coyotes vs. Golden Knights

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content


Coyotes (0-1-0) vs. Golden Knights (1-0-0)

The Arizona Coyotes are playing their first home game of the 2017-18 season vs. the Vegas Golden Knights.

WHERE: Gila River Arena

WHEN: 6 p.m. (AZ time)

TV: FOX Sports Arizona 


Video: Coyotes Psyched for Home Opener


• The Coyotes have posted a 14-5-1 record in home openers since moving to Arizona from Winnipeg in 1996.

Antti Raanta will start in goal and make his first appearance with the Coyotes since coming to the team via an off-season trade with the New York Rangers. Raanta did not play on Thursday in Arizona's season opener at Anaheim because of a lower-body injury that hampered him throughout training camp.

• Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson will play his first regular-season home game since taking a leave of absence from the team at the end of last season. Ekman-Larsson has produced three goals and two assists in home openers since reaching the NHL in 2010-11.

Video: OEL: 'Have to Put a 60-Minute Effort Together'

• Forward Nick Cousins, who was a healthy scratch for the season opener at Anaheim, will make his debut with the Coyotes as left wing on the second line. Arizona acquired Cousins from Philadelphia via trade in the off-season. He notched two goals in three preseason games.

Alex Goligoski notched three assists at Anaheim on Thursday to become the first Coyotes player to record three points in a season opener since 2013. The durable defenseman has skated in 165 consecutive games and in 430 of his team's last 434 games.

• The Golden Knights played the first game in franchise history on Friday night at Dallas and beat the Stars 2-1. James Neal scored both goals and Marc-Andre Fleury made 45 saves. Fleury is expected to start again vs. Arizona. Vegas is the first NHL expansion team to win its first game since the Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning each opened the 1992-93 season with a victory.

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: Tonight's projected lineup. #VGKvsARI


"As much as I want guys to be stress free and play stress-less, I don't want them comfortable. After the last game, there's some things we've got to straighten out ... I hope they get some juice off (Opening Night). They walk the red carpet. They see the fans getting excited to watch a game. Yeah, I think they should embrace that. That should give them some juice. You want to give your best, and you want the fans when they leave the rink (to say), 'Man, that team works hard.' We're not looking for dipsy doodles and circus shows. But we do want a hard-working team, and hopefully the fans will get that." -- Rick Tocchet 

"The home opener is fun. It's always exciting to be back in front of your fans in a full house. If you can't get up for the home opener than you better look in the mirror and find out if you're a hockey player or not. These are fun games to play in, you've just got to manage your emotions for the first 10 minutes and then it's just hockey after that." -- Jordan Martinook

"All during camp we tried to play fast and had high-paced practices, and we did that in the first half of the game vs Anaheim and it worked out for us. Now we have to find a way to play like that for 60 minutes." -- Tobias Rieder 

Video: Tocchet on Home Opener vs. Vegas


READ: Coyotes to Walk Red Carpet

READ: Raanta Ready to Debut for Coyotes

READ: Raanta's Mask Features Nod to Nickname

WATCH: Video: Raanta on Home Opener vs. VGK

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