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Golden Knights At Stars: 3 Keys To The Game

The game starts at 5:30 PM (PT). It can be seen on TV on AT&T SportsNet. This is DIRECTV channel 684, U-verse channels 757 (SD) and 1757 (HD), and CenturyLink channels 760 (SD) and 1760 (HD). The radio broadcast is on FOX Sports Radio 98.9 FM/1340 AM.

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

No more countdowns.

No more months, no more weeks, no more days.

Today, the Vegas Golden Knights play a hockey game and it counts. That game, the first regular-season contest in team history, will be at American Airlines Center in Dallas against the Dallas Stars.

Opening faceoff is scheduled for 5:30 PM (PT), which is 7:30 here in Dallas.

The game can be seen on TV on AT&T SportsNet. This is DIRECTV channel 684, U-verse channels 757 (SD) and 1757 (HD), and CenturyLink channels 760 (SD) and 1760 (HD). The radio broadcast is on FOX Sports Radio 98.9 FM/1340 AM.

Here are three keys to tonight's game.

Video: George McPhee two days before the regular season


1. Channeling their emotion

For the Golden Knights, just as all of the people of Las Vegas, this has been an extremely emotional week. Many of this team's players are new in this city, but dedicated their time to meeting with victims and first responders throughout the week.

Now it's time to play a hockey game. The first game for a new team, at that.

Given the manner that sports have a unique way to rally a city in times of tragedy, Golden Knights players have arrived in Dallas with a keen understanding of how much they represent their city.


Video: Cody Eakin spoke on Wednesday at City National Arena


Beyond the usual Opening Night jitters, this sort of energy and rile a team up. As can playing the first game in the history of a new franchise.

The challenge for the Golden Knights is harnessing this energy. Don't use it to go beyond themselves.

But use it as an extra boost.


2. Who plays?

There have been several roster transactions over the past few days.

Goalie Calvin Pickard was placed on waivers, while goalie Malcolm Subban joined the team on waivers from the Boston Bruins.


Video: M. Subban speaks about joining the Golden Knights


Vadim Shipachyov, Alex Tuch and Shea Theodore were placed on waivers, while Training Camp sensation Brad Hunt made the flight to Dallas.

Given that we're still 11 hours from game time, it's not out of the question for us to see additional transactions prior to game time.

We'll be posting updates above from morning skate, which gets underway at American Airlines Center at about 11:30 local time.

At this time, the only seeming likelihood will be that Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start in goal.

How the lineup shakes out from there should be a fascinating follow.


Video: Nate Schmidt on being part of Vegas


3. High-flying Stars

Two seasons ago, the upstart Stars finished with the most points in the Western Conference and came within a win of advancing to the Western Conference Finals.

Last year, Dallas slumped and finished 11th in the conference with only 79 points.

In 2016-17, goaltending was the Stars' largest issue. Having added All-Star Ben Bishop in the offseason, Dallas seems to have addressed this issue.

Coupled with a healthy Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, plus the addition of winger Alexander Radulov, there are many that expect the Stars to contend again this year.

Dallas has one of the league's most explosive offenses, although how it plays without the puck will still be the most significant issue heading into the season.




12:24 PM (CT)

A few interesting observations.

For one, Vegas has nine defensemen on the ice. Typically, only six play per game. The Golden Knights have nine on the ice this morning, however.


Tweet from @GoldenKnights: VGK D This MorningMillerMcNabbEngellandMerrillSbisaSchmidtGarrisonHuntReinhart


But also, the forwards.

Vadim Shipachyov, recently sent to the AHL's Chicago Wolves, is having his spot centering the team's top line filled by Jonathan Marchessault. Marchessault had previously been on the wing for that line. Marchessault's wing spot has been taken by Oscar Lindberg.

Although most importantly, James Neal is on the ice this morning.

Neal broke his hand during the playoffs last year with the Nashville Predators, and was expected to be out for the beginning of this season. Although he's still on the non-roster injured list and would have to be activated to play this evening, his presence on the ice is certanly notable.


Tweet from @GoldenKnights: Morning LinesSmith-Marchessault-LindbergPerron-Eakin-NealKarlsson-Haula-LeipsicNosek-Bellemare-CarrierOne is not like the others�� 

We'll have more on this as things continue to transpire.

11:36 AM (CT)

We've officially taken the ice at American Airlines Center!


Tweet from @GoldenKnights: The Knights Of The Round Circle have arrived in Dallas������


10:58 AM (CT)

Our team will be getting on the ice in a few minutes. Although in the meantime, as the Stars finished speaking to the media after their morning skate an hour before hours, we saw Dallas' tribute to Las Vegas.

Very classy by our counterparts!


Tweet from @GoldenKnights: We would like to thank @DallasStars for reciprocating. Very touching to feel this love from our @NHL family. #VegasStrong


10:35 AM (CT)

Our morning skate won't be for another hour or so. But most of our crew is down here at American Airlines Center. It seemed like an opportune time to debut a new feature that our team will sport on the back of its helmets.


Tweet from @GoldenKnights: We are #VegasBorn. We are #VegasStrong

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