Las Vegas–For the newest NHL franchise in the league, the Vegas Golden Knights continue their quick 2 game road trip with a stopover in Phoenix to take on the Arizona Coyotes for the 2nd matchup of their inaugural season.
Last night was an emotional win for the Golden Knights franchise and their fans when they defeated the Stars by a 2-1 final courtesy of two James Neal goals that were scored in the 3rd period.
Both of Neal’s markers were scored when Dallas made a goalie swap for Kari Lehtonen after starting netminder Ben Bishop suffered an injury after taking a puck to his mask in the 3rd period.
It was Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith that forced Bishop out of the net in their victory.
Golden Knights goaltender and 3-time Stanley Cup Champion Marc-André Fleury made 45 saves with 22 of them he stopped in the 3rd period vs. Dallas yesterday in their 2-1 win and recorded the 1st victory in franchise history.
With Vegas now facing the Arizona Coyotes, “The Desert Dogs” as they are known around the league are 0-1-0 on the season. Their 5-4 loss was courtesy of the Golden Knights divisional neighbors next in Southern California the Anaheim Ducks.
25-year-old Coyotes goaltender Louis Domingue made his 67th NHL start of his career and made 36 saves on 41 shots that he faced against the Ducks and finished the contest off with .878 save percentage.
The Coyotes goal scorers in that matchup were forwards Anthony Duclair, Clayton Keller, Max Domi, and Christian Fischer
In his 141st NHL game, Domi recorded his 28th goal with the Coyotes while Duclair registered his 27th in 158th games played which includes his time with the New York Rangers.
Three major moves that the Arizona Coyotes made before the start of the 2017-18 campaign, dealing forward Jamie McGinn to Florida for defenseman Jason Demers.
The 2nd move was acquiring veteran defenseman and 3-time Stanley Cup Champion (2010, 2013, and 2015) Niklas Hjalmarsson from the Chicago Blackhawks. Hjalmarsson brought with him to Arizona 23 goals and 120 for 143 and a plus 109.
Vegas needs to be aware that Hjalmarsson’s veteran presence patrolling the blueline for Arizona has the ability to shut down the Golden Knights top players so Head Coach Gerard Gallant will have some challenging times throughout the game in getting the right matchups against the former Blackhawks defenseman.
Arizona’s third major move was bolstering their offense with the acquisition of forward Derek Stepan from the New York Rangers.
Stepan spent 7 seasons with the New York Rangers and brought with him to the Coyotes organization 128 goals and 232 assists for 360 points at a plus 109.
A significant notable departure for the Arizona Coyotes came this past offseason was the official retirement of longtime Captain Shane Doan. Doan was the last member of the original Winnipeg Jets franchise before the organization moved to Phoenix back in summer hiatus of 1996.
For the Coyotes his leadership on the ice will be missed moving forward.
Going into this matchup vs. Arizona, the Golden Knights will get see first hand how their new bench boss Rick Tocchet who is the 18th Head Coach in Coyotes/Original Winnipeg Jets history runs things.
According to the official Twitter Account of the Arizona Coyotes, it’s expected that Antti Raanta will be their expected starter between the pipes.
Official Broadcast Schedule
Tonight’s puck drop is at 6:00 pm PT. Las Vegas
The matchup will on AT&T SportsNet. This is DIRECTV channel 684, U-verse channels 757 (SD) and 1757 (HD), Cox Cable channels 313 (SD) and 1313 (HD), and CenturyLink channels 760 (SD) and 1760 (HD). The radio broadcast is on FOX Sports Radio 98.9 FM/1340 AM.