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Golden Knights open 2021-22 season with a win over newest expansion team

“The Fortress” welcomed back its Vegas Golden Knights in a packed and loud T-Mobile Arena with a 4-3 win over the Seattle Kraken Tuesday, Oct. 12.

Vegas held off the surging Kraken in the third period to secure its first win of the 2021-2022 NHL campaign.

“I think our exhibition schedule was kind of up and down a little bit,” head coach Pete DeBoer told ESPN. “But we’ve got a veteran group and they know when it’s time to dial it up and be ready to play and I thought our group was ready to play tonight.”

Vegas captain Mark Stone displayed crisp passing as well as chemistry with forward Max Pacioretty continuing the narrative that the two are one of the top duos in the NHL.

Stone finished with three assists including a quick snap to Pacioretty for the opening goal of the season. Pacioretty read Seattle’s Philip Grubauer, who the Knights are very familiar with considering last year’s postseason run, and fired the puck far side to give Vegas a 1-0 lead.

Three minutes later, center Jonathan Marchessault kicked off his new season with a fake-out of Grubauer before finessing the puck around the Seattle goaltender for a 2-0 Vegas lead.

Vegas goalie Robin Lehner is now the new sheriff in bin for the Golden Knights after four illustrious seasons led by future Hall-of-Famer Marc-Andre Fleury, who mans the position for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Lehner had an up-and-down game, finishing with 28 saves on 31 shot attempts.

Pacioretty began the second period with a bang on his second goal of the evening giving Vegas a 3-0 lead.

The Kraken would storm back, tallying three unanswered goals including a historic goal for Ryan Donato, who scored the first goal in Seattle franchise history.

A restless crowd was quickly revamped after defensemen Chandler Stephenson, on a beautiful find from Stone, “kicked” the go-ahead shot into the net.

The play was reviewed and the call on the ice was upheld.

The 4-3 lead would stay true for the next 12 minutes as Vegas escaped with a win and a loud roar from the hometown fans.

The difference between the two teams was chemistry. One team’s core has been together for three seasons, while the other is literally brand new.

Seattle can credit its scrappy effort in the first official game for the franchise.

“I think it kind of speaks to our character as a team,” Seattle’s Morgan Geekie told ESPN of the comeback. “We knew they were a good team coming in here, and they kind of paved the way. But I like the way we brought it tonight, and I think we got better as the game went on.”

The Knights return to action Oct. 14 against the LA Kings.

Puck drop is 7:30 p.m.


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