Vegas Golden Knights Vegas Strong NHL

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Vegas Golden Knights are the newest team in the NHL

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Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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Vegas Golden Knights Vegas Strong NHL

NHL’s newest team continue perfect start on an emotional night in Las Vegas

One-Minute Read

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 – 4:02pm

The Vegas Golden Knights have made history by becoming the first National Hockey League (NHL) side to win their three opening matches in a debut season.

Last night the Golden Knights played their first ever game in Las Vegas and were 5-2 victors over the Arizona Coyotes at their new home, the T-Mobile Arena.

The victory meant more to the city than just ice hockey though. 

With Las Vegas still in mourning from the 1 October mass shooting – where 58 people were killed and 527 were injured – the Golden Knights have brought joy to a city hit by tragedy.

Last night’s home debut was dedicated to the victims and ESPN reported that a 58-second silence was held in honour of those killed and the names of each victim was projected onto the ice. 

Also, instead of any advertising boards around the rink, the term ‘Vegas Strong’ replaced the commercial messages.

On the rink, the Golden Knights were in fine form and played some “inspired hockey” according to CBC Sports.  

Golden Knight’s coach Gerard Gallant said his team did a “hell of a job” after such a tough past week. He said: “We talked about tonight being the most important game we’ll ever play.

“A lot of guys, we’re playing for our city. We’re playing for the tragedy that happened, for all the people that were here tonight and affected by the tragedy.

“I thought our guys did a hell of a job. They came out and they focused on the game. They focused from the start.”

James Neal, who scored twice against the Coyotes, spoke of the atmosphere inside the T-Mobile Arena.

“There was so much emotion, but we tried to stay focused on hockey, even though it was bigger than hockey,” said Neal.

“This is our town. We’re making it our home, and we want it to be a hockey town.”

Fellow goalscorer Deryk Engelland said it was “special” to find the net in front of the fans. After the game, CBC Sports reported that he vowed the team “will do everything we can to help you and our city heal. We are Vegas Strong”.

“It was probably one of the more emotional moments of my life,” Engelland said of his goal. “I probably don’t plan on scoring in too many games, but to get that one was pretty special.”

We round-up the best Tweets and pictures on an emotional night in Las Vegas:

The star of the show…

The Coyotes paid tribute to their opponents

58 seconds of silence

What an atmosphere inside the T-Mobile Arena

NHL history is made

The city is #VegasStrong

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