Golden Knights make Las Vegas proud with strong, historic 3-0 start

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Engelland delivered a short and powerful speech in an emotional ceremony honoring first responders and victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 1.

"Now, we will do everything we can to help you and our city heal".

Neal said Friday night he had tickets to last Sunday night's concert in Las Vegas, at which 58 people were killed and almost 500 injured, but decided not to attend.

Nobody's mind was entirely on hockey during what should have been a celebratory night and a milestone for Las Vegas, which finally has its first franchise in the major North American pro sports. But a fan festival was cancelled and numerous high-profile festivities scheduled for the opener have been delayed until the Golden Knights' second home game on Friday, when the Detroit Red Wings visit Las Vegas. But while it is an important moment for the expansion team, hockey will take a back seat for an emotional pre-game ceremony and the players have something more meaningful to play for.

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The ceremonial puck drop was then conducted by people who survived the Las Vegas tragedy. The Knights scored two goals in the less than five minutes and four in the initial period, including one from Engelland and two from James Neal - the clear fan favorite - our Piazza. Vegas could've lost 20-0 and it still would've been a good night. because a sports team did it's part to bring people together, lend a helping hand, and did it with class. But they scrapped much of it, including a fan fest and their usual pregame ritual (which will resume for future home games), after Stephen Paddock opened fire indiscriminately on a crowd of country music fans listening to Jason Aldean perform at the Route 91 Harvest Festival Oct. 1, leaving 58 dead and almost 500 more injured. I'll take (goals) when I can get them.

Like us, they'll need to remain, "Vegas Strong".

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who will start Tuesday, said of the unique circumstances surrounding the home opener: "I think we're all excited to be home and have the chance to play in front of our fans". It was the least we could do for those people that went through that.

The home opener was the biggest milestone yet in the quest of owner Bill Foley, whose pursuit of an expansion franchise gathered steam in late 2014.