There will be sadness as well, as the team and the league pay tribute to the 58 victims and the close to 500 wounded from the October 1 mass shooting on the Strip.
We will be covering everything that goes on throughout the day including the Gold Carpet, the March to the Arena, the pre-game ceremonies, the game, postgame interviews, and then head over to Bailiwick at The Orleans for the official SinBin.vegas after party.
During the 15-minute pregame ceremony, the names of all 58 victims appeared on the ice, and the arena held a 58 second moment of silence for each of the lives lost in the shooting.
"I talked about the game a little bit and we talked about tonight being the most important game we'll ever play", coach Gerard Gallant said.
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. After the shooting, the team modified its plans and dedicated a quieter evening to the victims, the first responders and the survivors. Knights defenseman and Las Vegas native Deryk Engelland spoke eloquently to the fans, vowing that the Golden Knights "will do everything we can to help you and our city heal". 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 Las Vegas.
Once the game started, the players kept emotions riding high. The Golden Knights defeated the Coyotes 2-1 in overtime.
The Las #Vegas Golden Knights are the latest team to join the National Hockey League. I saw real appreciation as I watched, and I think that human side of players stretches far beyond tragedy. The Golden Knights are leaning on people like me to buy merchandise, get emotionally invested, and follow the team no matter how long it takes for them to get good. 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. The events of the past nine days have taught them more about this place and its people than they might have gleaned in five "normal" years.