The evening started with an emotional tribute to the victims and first responders in the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas earlier this month.
It ended with fans inside T-Mobile Arena coming together to celebrate a thrilling and historic 5-2 home victory for the expansion Vegas Golden Knights over the visiting Arizona Coyotes.
The Golden Knights improve their record to 3-0-0.
Tomas Nosek got things started with the first Golden Knights regular season home goal in franchise history.
By the midway point of the first period, Vegas had built up a four-goal lead, with Deryk Engelland and James Neal also scoring for the home team, which resulted in Arizona’s starting goalie Antti Raanta getting the hook after three goals allowed on five shots.
It was, for the Golden Knights, a perfect start in their highly anticipated home opener almost a year and a half since getting awarded an NHL franchise, and they continued from there to the delight of the crowd.
This night, however, wasn’t solely about a hockey game.
This was about a community continuing to come together, and its professional sports team hoping to be part of the healing after what occurred on Oct. 1.
Before the puck dropped to begin this chapter in the Golden Knights’ history, the organization paid tribute to Las Vegas first responders by introducing them to the crowd and bringing them onto the ice where they were accompanied by a member of the Golden Knights during the ceremony.
The Golden Knights then held a 58-second moment of silence for the 58 victims that lost their lives in the tragedy.
Engelland also addressed the crowd.
“Like all of you, I’m proud to call Las Vegas home,” he said. “I met my wife here and my kids were born here and I know how special this city is. To all the brave first responders that have worked timelessly and courageously throughout this whole tragedy, we thank you. To the families and friends of the victims, know that we’ll do everything we can to help you and our city heal.
“We are Vegas strong.”