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Golden Knights 5, Coyotes 2: 3 Takeaways

The Golden Knights scored four first-period goals and improved to 3-0-0

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

On a night the Golden Knights won 5-2 and extended their record to 3-0-0, the real star of the game was Las Vegas fans.

More than 18,100 fans - far over capacity- jammed their way into T-Mobile Arena.

And although the Golden Knights gave them more than enough to cheer about after a rollicking four-goal first period, tonight was, first and foremost about the fans.

This city has been struck by unspeakable tragedy in recent weeks.

And although the final score tonight cannot change anything that happened, it's part of the process. The healing process, the process of getting back to normal, the process of showing the world what this city is all about.

There were some notable hockey aspects of the game, though, too.

Here are three immediate takeaways.

1. Couldn't be contained

In moments of high emotion, it's difficult to predict how pro athletes will respond. Especially when that emotion is associated with the tragic events of October 1, rather than the final score of a game.


Video: Golden Knights join first responders on ice


Some athletes use it as motivation, while others have the tendency to become distracted.

To a man, the Golden Knights responded to the emotion from Tuesday's stirring pregame ceremony by blowing the doors off the Arizona Coyotes.

Vegas scored four unanswered goals in the opening 11 minutes of the first period, including two from James Neal, putting the game out of reach.

Arizona never got itself back into the game.


2. Deryk Engelland seized the moment

Deryk Engelland isn't a goal scorer. In fact, he only scored four times in 81 games with the Calgary Flames last year, and had only 22 career goals since debuting in the NHL eight years ago.

But for the Golden Knights who has called this city home the longest -since he met his wife here as a member of the Las Vegas Wranglers a decade ago - Tuesday night was about making a statement.

First, before the game, on the microphone.


Video: Engelland gives rousing speech to hometown fans


And then on the ice, with the Golden Knights' second goal.


Video: ARI@VGK: Engelland blisters in a shot from the point


On a special night for the city, it all seemed fitting.


3. Rarified Air

When the Golden Knights defeated the Coyotes in Arizona on Saturday, Vegas became the first expansion team in 50 years to win its first two games as a franchise.

On Tuesday, however, Vegas became the first team in the NHL's history to win its first three games.

Seriously, let that sink in.

What we're seeing right now from this team is something the league has never seen. Vegas will attempt to extend its own record on Friday when the Detroit Red Wings visit T-Mobile Arena.

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