The Vegas Golden Knights skated away victorious in their first ever regular-season home game on Tuesday, beating the Arizona Coyotes 5-2 to improve to 3-0-0.
It was an emotional night, as the opener took place only nine days after 58 people were killed and more than 500 injured after Stephen Paddock opened fire at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1.
The team honoured the victims and the heroes — the first responders and members of the medical community — in a pregame ceremony then whipped the fans into a frenzy with a memorable first period.
It was quite the scene.
Golden Knights players, including Marc-Andre Fleury (seen here), greet fans outside T-Mobile Arena ahead of their first home game. (John Locher/AP)
The team stripped all advertisements off the boards in favour of a unifying message. (GoldenKnights/Twitter)
The names of the 58 victims are projected on the ice during the 58 seconds of silence before the game. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Members of the medical and law enforcement communities accompany the players onto the ice during player introductions. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury shares a moment with a first responder before puck drop. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Fans join in unison to sing a stirring rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Las Vegas native Deryk Engelland had this to say during a pre-game speech: “To all the brave first responders that have worked tirelessly and courageously through 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.” (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Once things got underway, it didn’t take long for the Golden Knights to bring the fans to their feet, as Tomas Nosek scored the first regular-season goal in Las Vegas at 2:31 of the first period. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Jame Neal, the Golden Knights’ best player, continued his scorching start by scoring two goals in the first period to give Vegas a commanding lead they would never relinquish. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
True to form, the Golden Knights had Cirque du Soleil perform during the first intermission. (TheFourthPeriod/Twitter)
The Golden Knights salute the fans after finishing off the Coyotes 5-2. (John Locher/AP)