NHL expansion team gets a name: Vegas Golden Knights

NHL expansion team gets a name: Vegas Golden Knights

LAS VEGAS -- The NHL's newest team is named the Vegas Golden Knights.

Owner Bill Foley and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the Las Vegas expansion franchise's official name and revealed its logo and colors Tuesday night at a gala ceremony for about 5,000 fans outside T-Mobile Arena, where the Golden Knights will begin play next season.

The Golden Knights' logo is a simple front view of a fighting helmet with a conspicuous "V" in the middle. Their colors are steel grey, gold, red and black.

"Our logo and our name is really going to exhibit the highest element of the warrior class -- the knight," Foley told the crowd. "The knight protects the unprotected. The knight defends the realm. The knight never gives up, never gives in, always advances, never retreats. And that is what our team is going to be."

The NHL awarded its 31st franchise in June to this gambling mecca in the Mojave Desert. Foley is a billionaire businessman who sold the league on the potential of being the first major pro sports franchise in the growing market while playing in a new $375 million arena already constructed on the south end of the Strip.

The franchise made its name announcement near an outdoor rink where young hockey players braved the 58-degree nighttime temperatures in Vegas' desert basin. The ceremony endured technical difficulties when a video presentation refused to run, prompting Foley and Bettman to kill time.

Bettman grinningly encouraged the fans to boo him, saying it's a true indication that Las Vegas is a real NHL city.

"Believe me, we won't screw up the first game like we screwed up the video," Foley said with a laugh.

Foley paid $500 million as an expansion fee to the other 30 ownership groups, and the West Point graduate strongly considered naming his team the Black Knights in honor of his Army roots.

He changed his mind during the lengthy process of developing a brand and an identity for his team, but Foley kept a military touch in the name despite some local criticism for its lack of a connection to Las Vegas. Foley has said the team didn't want to include an overt gambling reference in the name, but also considered Desert Knights and Silver Knights.

Fans chanted Foley's name when he stepped to the podium to make the announcement.

"I'm very proud of our name, and I'm very proud of our logo," Foley said.

The team has been enthusiastically received in southern Nevada, which is getting the first major professional sports franchise in a market of nearly 1.4 million. Foley led a successful drive that landed several thousand deposits on season tickets months before the NHL officially granted a team to the city.

The Golden Knights immediately began selling team merchandise at the announcement.

Ducks help Flyers out by downing Devils

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Ducks help Flyers out by downing Devils

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Brandon Montour scored a power-play goal, helping lift the Anaheim Ducks into third place in the Pacific Division with a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Sunday night.

Ryan Getzlaf and Rickard Rakell each had a goal and an assist, and Jakob Silfverberg also scored for the Ducks, who lead Los Angeles by two points in the division. Anaheim won its third straight game and is 6-1-0 in its last seven at home.

John Gibson made 15 saves, improving to 9-2-0 in his last 11 starts.

Kyle Palmieri had a power-play goal and Patrick Maroon also scored for the Devils, who had won the first three games of their six-game road trip. Keith Kinkaid made 32 saves, ending a four-start winning streak.

New Jersey holds the second wild-card in the Eastern Conference, five points ahead of Florida (see full recap).

Karlsson's hat trick helps Vegas beat Flames
LAS VEGAS -- William Karlsson scored a natural hat trick to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

Colin Miller also scored as Vegas snapped a four-game home losing streak and improved to 25-9-2 at T Mobile Arena.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who made his 20th start in 21 games, made 42 saves. In getting his 48th career shutout and fourth of the season, Fleury moved into a tie with Chris Osgood for 12th all-time amongst goaltenders at 401.

Vegas improved to 3-0-0 against Calgary while outscoring the Flames 15-5. The teams meet once more, in the regular-season finale at Calgary on April 7 (see full recap).

Laine scores twice, matches Ovechkin for NHL goal lead
WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Patrik Laine scored twice to extend his point streak to 15 games and tie Alex Ovechkin for the NHL goal lead, and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Dallas Stars 4-3 on Sunday night to match the franchise wins record at 43.

The second-year sniper has 43 goals, matching the total from Ovechkin, the Washington star and Laine's boyhood favorite. Laine's point streak is the longest active run in the NHL and adds to his league record for the longest point streak by a teenager. The streak includes 18 goals and eight assists.

Ben Chiarot also scored and Blake Wheeler added an empty-netter for Winnipeg.

Mattias Janmark and Jamie Benn each scored for Dallas (see full recap).

Oskar Lindblom quiets Flyers’ chirps in weekend of firsts

Oskar Lindblom quiets Flyers’ chirps in weekend of firsts

If there was an NHL handbook on how to score goals in the most competitive hockey league in the world, you would have thought Oskar Lindblom would have read it forward and backward, on the charter to the Flyers' next road game and at night before bedtime.

From effort to playing at both ends of the ice, Lindblom had done everything to score a goal, except actually score one.

Prior to Saturday’s game against Carolina, Lindblom had played his first 12 games without registering a single point and it was starting to become a source of playful dissing and mockery in the Flyers' locker room.

“Teammates keep him loose,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. “I think Alex Lyon was giving him the gears. I think Alex should have had an assist last night (in Carolina). I don’t know if he was credited with one or not, but I think Alex was chirping (Oskar) about having more points per game than he did, and that’s what guys do.”

However, the official scoresheet from the 4-2 win in Carolina had Lindblom credited with his first NHL assist and Lyon still looking for one. Prior to that, the zeroes next to Lindblom’s game were starting to add up and Hakstol sensed the 21-year-old rookie was taking notice.  

“I don’t remember the game last week, but he had a great opportunity off a rebound at net front,” Hakstol said. “That was the first time I saw a little bit of frustration creep in where he let it show. Oskar is a good offensive player. He wants to help by doing his part offensively, but I think what he just continued to concentrate on is just playing good hockey.”

Sunday that first goal finally arrived in the form of a snapshot that beat Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer up high. It gave the Flyers a lead they never relinquished in a 6-3 win over Washington.

“I don’t want to think about it anymore,” Lindblom said. “Got the first one today and it was a huge one in the game so it was good.”

And with that, the Swede slipped on the Ric Flair victory robe for the first time, handed down from the Finnish Valtteri Filppula, who was presented the feather-laced garment the night before in Carolina. 

Prior to that, the only thing Lindblom had received was encouragement and support from his teammates who knew his time would eventually come. With an easy-going smile and a personality to match, Lindblom’s fellow Flyers couldn’t help but root for him. 

“We’re all happy for him," Travis Konecny said. “It’s been paying off for him. He deserves it. He works hard at both ends of the ice. I’m personally happy for him.

“He’s got that offensive skill that’s far and few between that a lot of guys don’t have. He just has a knack around the net, he’s always around the puck. We all knew it was coming sooner or later.”

Apparently, everyone seemed to know and especially Jake Voracek, who’s been assisting in every way possible.

“He talks to me a lot,” Lindblom said. “He tried to calm me down a little bit. It’s good for me.”