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7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ET23:00 BRT, October 10, 2019
Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona  Attendance: 13,864

Vegas seeks rebound, Arizona seeking offense in desert duel

Vegas Golden Knights at Arizona Coyotes

  1. The Golden Knights are 4-0-0 all-time against the Coyotes in Arizona and will attempt to become the first Pacific Division team with five consecutive road wins over the Coyotes since the Stars recorded six straight from April 8, 2006-Oct. 27, 2007. Arizona has picked up a point in five of its last six overall meetings with Vegas, going 3-1-2 in the series since December 2017.
  2. Mark Stone has registered two points in all three of Vegas' games, becoming the first player in the franchise's brief history to start a season with three straight multipoint outings. Only once have the Knights had a player with two or more points in four straight games, with William Karlsson doing so in five in a row from Nov. 16-25, 2017.
  3. Darcy Kuemper stopped 25-of-26 shots in a 1-0 loss to Boston in the Coyotes' home opener on Saturday. Since Feb. 16 of last season, Kuemper leads all goaltenders with a 1.38 GAA and .955 save percentage at home (min. 10 starts) and is 10-3-1 over that stretch.
  4. Since the start of last season, the Coyotes rank second in the NHL with 16 short-handed goals and the Golden Knights are tied for third (12). Vegas has three short-handed goals through this season's first three games. No team has started a season with four in four games since the 1995-96 Blues.
  5. Derek Stepan produced four goals and two assists in Arizona's four 2018-19 meetings with Vegas, recording multiple points in three of those contests. Stepan totaled just three assists in a combined 20 games against the rest of the Pacific Division last season.
  6. Ryan Reaves, the NHL's leader with 305 hits in 2018-19, has 19 through Vegas' first three games. Since 2005-06, only two other players (Zac Rinaldo, PHI, 2013-14 and Dustin Brown, LA, 2010-11) have recorded 19 hits over the first three games of a season.

The Arizona Coyotes have managed to score just one goal in losing their first two games. Now they host the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night in Glendale, Ariz., and Vegas is averaging four goals in its first three games and is one of the favorites to win the Pacific Division.

But Arizona coach Rick Tocchet, whose team is coming off a tough 1-0 home loss to the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins on Saturday, believes his team isn't that far away from being 2-0 after losing its season opener 2-1 at Anaheim.

"I'm not panicking," Tocchet told the Arizona Republic. "We're a good hockey club. These guys are working hard and these are winnable hockey games. ... With a little push from some individuals we could be 2-0. We need everybody to push harder."

Boston's only goal came at 18:41 of the first period by Brad Marchand. The Coyotes outplayed the Bruins most of the game but couldn't find a way to get the puck past Jaroslav Halak, who finished with 35 saves.

"We have guys moving to the right places with good looks," Coyotes center Derek Stepan said. "We just have to keep pushing. Like tonight, I think sometimes you get snake-bitten and tonight their goaltender stood tall and we didn't bury (the chances)."

"It's a hard league to win," Tocchet said. "We didn't give Boston much and that's a Stanley Cup finalist. They've been in the playoffs the last bunch of years a lot, but there's no moral victories. It's a hard game. There's another inch for some players, we need another inch from some guys, but for the most part the effort was there."

The game with the Golden Knights is the second of a five-game stretch against 2018-19 playoff teams for Arizona.

"It's really important to have a good start in this league," Arizona defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said. "It's really hard to chase from behind. It's going to be some big games for us. We have to be better."

Vegas also comes in off a loss to Boston, 4-3 on Tuesday night in Las Vegas. The Golden Knights, who opened with 4-1 and 5-1 victories over San Jose, jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period for the third straight game before the Bruins scored four consecutive goals over a 10-minute stretch between the end of the first period and early in the second period.

Max Pacioretty's goal with 5:18 remaining brought Vegas to within one but the Golden Knights failed to net a tying goal on Tuukka Rask after pulling Marc-Andre Fleury with 1:43 to go. Three of Boston's goals came following turnovers by the Golden Knights in their own end.

"We didn't manage the puck well," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "Three of their four goals came off of our sticks. We had the puck and we didn't clear the puck and made some bad dumps. Like I said, three of the goals were directly our fault. They played a good game and they had good chances, but we didn't manage the puck well and that was the main reason for the loss."

--Field Level Media

Updated October 9, 2019

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