Golden Knights come home to help Las Vegas 'grieve, heal and persevere'

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"We are Vegas Strong", he said.

In a further tribute, the sideboards in T-Mobile Arena eschewed ads during the ceremony in favor of the message "Vegas strong".

The Golden Knights' inaugural regular-season game at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Tuesday against the Coyotes was more than a hockey game.

The first goal, just 2:31 into the game off the stick of Tomas Nosek, seemed like something from a dream-the exact way you'd want an expansion franchise christening its own building to begin.

Reminders of that frightful night, and its grisly aftermath, were omnipresent throughout the Vegas Golden Knights' home opener, from the massive security presence outside the venue to a touching pre-game tribute to the 58 slain and the first responders and hospital heroes who kept that terrible total from ballooning far further.

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The first-year National Hockey League team has played two games, and won both, each time on a James Neal goal.

Tremendous amounts of class shown by the @ArizonaCoyotes, who stayed on the ice to salute Las Vegas with the @GoldenKnights.

One by one, the Knights' public address announcer introduced some of those police officers, fire fighters, EMTs, doctors and nurses, who took the ice side-by-side with players. The Golden Knights will go without board advertisements, which will be replaced by messaging that emphasizes the strength of the Las Vegas community. The Las Vegas Knights play their next game on October 13 against the Detroit Red Wings. "Obviously, the city is still healing from the tragedy, and as players we're aware of that".

For coach Gerard Gallant, the challenge Tuesday is to keep the players' focus on what happens on the ice. A Knights win certainly might not mean much in the bigger scheme of things, but the Vegas fans deserve any lift they can get right now. 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. 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.

Engelland doesn't score many of them.

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