LAS VEGAS (AP) — 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 Vegas 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 crowd.
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.
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.
PREDATORS 6, FLYERS 5
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Filip Forsberg scored his second goal with 35.6 seconds left and Nashville rallied by scoring twice in the final 1:17 to beat Philadelphia.
On the night they raised their Western Conference championship banner, the Predators blew a 3-0 lead as the Flyers scored five straight goals.
But then Forsberg scored his first of the game 50 seconds after the Flyers took a 5-3 lead, and Scott Hartnell scored his second goal on a 5-on-3 with 1:17 left to tie it. When Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol challenged for offside and lost, the Predators had the man advantage, and Forsberg scored the winning goal.
Craig Smith and Nick Bonino also scored, and P.K. Subban had three assists for Nashville. Forsberg also had an assist on Hartnell’s tying goal as Nashville won its fifth straight home opener.
Valtteri Filppula scored twice for the Flyers, and Andrew McDonald, Nolan Patrick and Travis Konecny each added a goal. Philadelphia finished 2-2 on its first four-game road trip to open a season since 1971.
BLUES 3, RANGERS 1
NEW YORK (AP) — Carter Hutton made 16 of his 32 saves in the third period to help St. Louis remain unbeaten with a win over New York.
Carl Gunnarsson and Brayden Schenn scored first-period goals for the Blues, who improved to 4-0. Jaden Schwartz added an empty-netter with 1:47 left.
Trailing 2-1, the Rangers pressured an injury-depleted Blues squad in the third period, outshooting St. Louis 16-8. New York outshot the Blues 32-23 overall but dropped to 1-3.
Gunnarsson scored 15 seconds into the game.
Mika Zibanejad scored his fifth goal of the season for the Rangers on a power play.
BLACKHAWKS 3, CANADIENS 1
MONTREAL (AP) — Alex DeBrincat scored his first NHL goal and set up one for Artem Anisimov to help Chicago spoil Montreal’s home opener.
Brandon Saad also scored for the Blackhawks (3-0-1), who were coming off an overtime loss Monday night in Toronto. Corey Crawford made 41 saves and outplayed Montreal goalie Carey Price, who stopped 22 shots.
Tomas Plekanec scored for Montreal (1-3-0), which has lost three in a row and scored only four goals overall. The Canadiens went 0 for 5 on the power play and are 0 for 14 this season.
Montreal outshot the Blackhawks 42-25.
BLUE JACKETS 2, HURRICANES 1, OT
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Sonny Milano scored two goals, including the game-winner on a breakaway with 31 seconds left in overtime to give Columbus a victory over Carolina.
Milano scored midway through the third period before Jeff Skinner tied it late in regulation with Carolina’s net empty. Sergei Bobrovsky, last season’s Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL’s top goalie, made 37 saves for the Blue Jackets.
Scott Darling, obtained in an offseason trade with Chicago, stopped 25 shots for the Hurricanes.
STARS 4, RED WINGS 2
DALLAS (AP) — John Klingberg and Tyler Seguin scored in the first period, and Dallas beat Detroit for its first win of the season.
Ben Bishop made 23 saves for the Stars (1-2). Mattias Janmark scored in the second period and Martin Hanzal put the puck into an empty net with 2 seconds remaining.
The Stars (2-1) got goals from Justin Abdelkader in the second period and Anthony Mantha in the third. Petr Mrazek stopped 29 shots.
SENATORS 3, CANUCKS 2, SO
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Mark Stone scored in the fifth round of a shootout and Ottawa edged Vancouver for its first victory of the season.
Kyle Turris kept the Senators alive in the third round of the shootout after Markus Granlund gave the Canucks the 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). Henrik Sedin added two assists and Jacob Markstrom made 40 saves.
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