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Golden Knights 2, Stars 1: 3 Takeaways

Two third-period goals by James Neal delivered the Golden Knights the team's first-ever win

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

The Golden Knights won. And it was a real game.

Say that again.

In the meantime, here are three immediate takeaways from tonight's game in Dallas.

1. And his name is James Neal

When James Neal was acquired in the Expansion Draft, it was with the expectation of being the Golden Knights' top scorer.


Video: VGK@DAL: Neal notches Golden Knights' first goal


And returning in his first game with Vegas after breaking his right hand during the playoffs last year as a Nashville Predator, Neal was the game breaker the Golden Knights need him to be.

With Vegas trailing 1-0 heading into the third period, Neal scored twice, including the game-winner with fewer than three minutes to play in the third period.


Video: VGK@DAL: Neal nets his second goal of the game


Hockey teams need their best players to be their best players when times are tough. And behind during the third period of a tie game, Neal was just that.



Despite the Golden Knights winning the game, the Stars were by far the better team, outshooting Vegas 46-30.


Video: VGK@DAL: Fleury robs flurry of shots through traffic

Marc-Andre Fleury, however, stood on his head. The three-time Stanley Cup champion willed his team to victory by making 45 saves in his first win as a Golden Knight.

3. This was fun

Like seriously, tonight should still be considering an incredibly important night not just for this franchise, but for the city of Las Vegas.

For many years, this city didn't have a major league team. In any sport.

So rather than rooting for the scoreboard, people rooted for board room decisions. Or stadium deals. Or expansion votes.

Now, and forever after this, Las Vegans can care about actual games.


Video: VGK@DAL: Stars, Vegas stand as one for tributes

You know, the fun stuff.

Even though the team won tonight, it's just one. It's part of the grind that is the NHL season, and there's a long way to go 81 games to be exact.

The fun part is that games, wins and losses, are part of the routine now for the city of Vegas. The routine of playing games that count.

We don't have to wait long for the next one, either. It's tomorrow night against the Arizona Coyotes.

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