Las Vegas–For the Vegas Golden Knights, their young season is going a lot better than people thought it would considering they are first expansion team start off an inaugural campaign with a 3-0-0 record.
For the youngest team in the family, they welcome into town one of the pioneer franchises of the National Hockey League the 11-time Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings.
This original six franchise is considered to be one of the flagship hockey organizations in the NHL with a storybook history that featured the greats in Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsey, Alex Delvecchio, Terry Sawchuk, Sid Abel, Steve Yzerman, to Niklas Lidstrom.
In recent years, Lidstrom was the last player for Detroit Red Wings to have his number to be retired to hang alongside his hockey brethren.
With the former 11-time Stanley Cup Champions they are currently in 3rd place in the Atlantic Division with a 3-1-0 record for 6 points.
The Red Wings are coming off of a back-2-back with a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes.
Their top 3 goal scorers heading into their matchup against the Golden Knights Martin Frk, Anthony Mantha, Henrik Zetterberg (2008 Stanley Cup Champion). Frk has 4 goals on the season while Mantha and Zetterberg have 2 each.
Defenseman Mike Green is the leader in the assists category with 8 and forward Dylan Larkin is 2nd place with 4 of his own.
For the Red Wings, this is Zetterberg’s 5 season as the team captain and is the 2nd European born hockey player in that role. The last European that was captain of the Red Wings was Lidstrom from the 2006-2012 campaign.
Last season the Red Wings missed the playoffs for the first time since their 25 straight season run that started in 1990-91 and ended in 2015-16.
That was a remarkable achievement and in doing so they captured 4 championships thru that run (1997, 1998, 2002, and 2008).
So this season, the Red Wings with a new arena are looking to bounce back and get themselves turned around after poor finish last season that equated to a 33-36-13 record for 79 points.
As for the early season surprise, the Golden Knights are entering into today’s game against Red Wings with 3 straight wins which is something that hasn’t been done before by any former expansion team in the NHL.
Their hot start has been the contributions of veteran goaltender and 3-time Stanley Cup Champion Marc-André Fleury who has been impressive between the pipes with a 1.32 GAA and .963 save percentage.
His performance in net has been a bit of the catalyst for the Golden Knights team who have a been at least for the first two games the comeback kids with late heroics by forward James Neal and defenseman Nate Schmidt.
Neal scored the franchises first regular-season goal and the game-winning goal against the Dallas Stars while Schmidt the other night netted the franchises first regular-season goal that forced an overtime affair vs. Arizona.
In that contest vs. the Coyotes Neal scored the franchises first ever overtime winner.
The Golden Knights heading into their matchup vs the Red Wings are coming off of an emotional 5-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes from this past Tuesday.
With everything that happened last week and the keynote speech that Vegas resident and defenseman Deryk Engelland prior to the game provided that spark in offense particularly the 4 goal performance with Tomas Nosek, Engelland, and Neal x2.
Oscar Lindberg‘s marker didn’t come until the 2nd period.
Neal is the team leader in goals with 5 on the season, while Schmidt, David Perron, Brandon Leipsic, and Luca Sbisa each have 2 assists.
With the season being so young Golden Knights forward Neal is currently tied for 2nd place in goals with Mika Zibanejad, and Brandon Saad.
Will the Golden Knights be 4-0-0 after tonight’s matchup against Red Wings we are going to have to wait and find out?
Official Broadcast Schedule
Tonight’s puck drop is at 7:30 pm PT. Las Vegas
Television: 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).
Radio: The radio broadcast is on FOX Sports Radio 98.9 FM/1340 AM.