Red Wings at Golden Knights
James Neal has been everything advertised, and then some, for the Vegas Golden Knights during their record-setting start to the season. The veteran forward looks to continue his scorching pace as the Golden Knights attempt to remain undefeated when they host the Detroit Red Wings on Friday.
Neal has scored five of his team's nine goals, including two in Tuesday's 5-2 triumph over Arizona in its home opener as Vegas became the first club in NHL history to begin its inaugural season with three straight victories. The 30-year-old Neal, who has eclipsed the 20-goal plateau in each of his first nine campaigns, is the first player since Philadelphia's Brian Propp in 1982-83 to net the winning tally in each of his team's first three games in a season. Detroit posted a 4-2 victory at Arizona on Thursday to improve to 2-1-0 on its four-game road trip. Captain Henrik Zetterberg forged a tie in the final minute of the second period and Luke Glendening scored a short-handed goal with 3:24 remaining to snap a tie while defenseman Mike Green notched a pair of assists to grab a share of the league scoring lead at eight points.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, AT&T SportsNet-Rocky Mountain (Vegas)
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (3-1-0): All eight of Green's points have been assists, tying him with Washington's Evgeny Kuznetsov for first in the NHL in that category. The blue-liner, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on Thursday, is well on his way to his best season in Detroit as he registered 22 assists and 36 points in 72 games last campaign after collecting 35 points over 74 contests in his first season with the club in 2015-16. Fellow defenseman Niklas Kronwall made his season debut Thursday, posting a minus-1 rating while seeing 17 minutes, 27 seconds of ice time on 26 shifts after missing the first three games because of back and groin injuries.
ABOUT THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS (3-0-0): Neal's tenure with Vegas got off to a rough start as he underwent hand surgery a month after being plucked from Nashville's roster in the expansion draft and was unable to participate at the start of training camp. But he has been an offensive force over the franchise's first three games, scoring both goals in a season-opening 2-1 victory at Dallas, tallying in overtime at Arizona for a 2-1 triumph the following night and netting a pair versus the Coyotes three days later. "I'm just surprised I was able to play (against Dallas), just having surgery so late in the summer. I wasn't sure if I was going to be ready," Neal, who joined Quebec's Real Cloutier as the only players to record five goals in the first three contests of a team's existence since expansion began in 1967-68, told NHL.com.
1. Golden Knights G Marc-Andre Fleury has allowed only four goals on 107 shots over the club's first three games.
2. Red Wings D Danny DeKeyser missed Thursday's contest with a lower-body injury he suffered two nights earlier at Dallas.
3. Vegas LW Tomas Nosek, who recorded one goal in 17 games with Detroit over the last two seasons, netted the first home tally in franchise history Tuesday.