Flyers

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.

Flyers 5, Devils 2: Jakub Voracek's brilliant effort results in big home win

Flyers 5, Devils 2: Jakub Voracek's brilliant effort results in big home win

BOX SCORE

The Flyers should thank Jakub Voracek.

He was brilliant Saturday with two assists and the game-winning goal to push the Flyers past the Devils, 5-2, at the Wells Fargo Canter.

This was a quality — and needed — victory for the Flyers (4-4-0), who climbed back to .500 following an ugly showing Thursday in Columbus.

It was quality because the Devils (4-2-0) came in as one of the NHL's hottest teams to start the 2018-19 season. New Jersey opened the year with four straight wins over the Oilers, Capitals, Sharks and Stars by a combined score of 17-4.

Voracek passed John LeClair for 12th on the franchise's all-time assists list at 311, adding to his big day.

The game went down to the wire before Wayne Simmonds and Scott Laughton tacked on empty-netters to finish the deal.

• Voracek's game-winner in the final five minutes was on a nifty move. Not many have his handles and ability in the open ice. He single-handedly made plays.

• Nolan Patrick was back Saturday after missing the past three games with an upper-body injury. It was a productive return. Off a superb pass from Voracek, the 20-year-old center scored his first goal of the season with Nico Hischier behind in pursuit.

The goal gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead with 1:04 left in the second period. Patrick back in the lineup is huge on multiple fronts, especially his two-way focus down the middle. The offense will come, but the little things he does are game-changing traits.

• Travis Konecny is starting to heat up. He scored an important goal on the second-unit power play a little over six minutes after the Devils struck first in the opening period.

It was vital to get that goal back, especially from the No. 2 man-advantage group. Konecny aggressively ripped a shot from the circle for his second goal in as many games. He has four points in his last three games after putting up just one in his first five.

• Jordan Weal is a player. Yes, he did commit three penalties, with the third resulting in the Devils' game-tying 2-2 goal early in the final frame.

But he's smart, he's skilled, he wins faceoffs and he has to stay at center. It would be hard to justify him sitting much this season.

It's no coincidence Konecny has gotten going with Weal centering his line over the last three outings. Weal saw second-unit PP time Saturday and he won the faceoff that led to Konecny's goal.

The 26-year-old can play — he just needs to be in the right spots. He helped the Flyers have a 44-16 advantage in the dot.

• For the first time this season, head coach Dave Hakstol separated top defensive pair Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov. Gostisbehere was with Christian Folin, while Provorov teamed up with Robert Hagg.

This was a good time to try breaking up those two and create a little more balance and complementary pairs.

• Brian Elliott wasn't tested a ton but he did make some of those timely saves when it's a point-blank shot and you need your goalie to come up big. He stopped 19 shots.

Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid entered 6-1-0 with a 2.38 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in his career against the Flyers. He made 16 saves.

• The officiating was not great. The first-period hooking penalty called on Michael Raffl was a ticky-tacky one and led to the Devils' game-opening marker.

During a second-period power play, Weal was whistled for embellishment and Hakstol made sure to give the officials an earful.

• The Flyers are off Sunday and then host the Avalanche Monday night at 7 p.m. on NBCSP. Gritty shirts will be given to all fans in attendance (see story).

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Flyers vs. Devils: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers vs. Devils: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Not only are the Flyers struggling to prevent goals at an alarming clip, but they also now welcome one of the NHL's hottest teams to start the 2018-19 season.

The Flyers (3-4-0) play host to the Devils (4-1-0) on Saturday afternoon, aiming to find a cure for their defensive and goaltending woes.

Let's look at some notables before puck drop:

When: 1 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m.
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• Following a disastrous 6-3 loss Thursday to the Blue Jackets, the Flyers have allowed 31 goals through seven games, second worst in the NHL to only the Red Wings, who have permitted 32 and are 0-5-2.

The 31 goals surrendered matches the most in franchise history over the first seven games of a season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Flyers also yielded 31 in the opening seven games of the 2008-09 campaign.

• And it doesn't get easier with the Devils coming to town. Before losing Thursday to the Avalanche, 5-3, New Jersey rolled through the Oilers, Capitals, Sharks and Stars by a combined score of 17-4.

The Devils are scoring four goals per game, tied for third best in the league, while allowing the fewest at 1.80.

However, forward Travis Zajac and defenseman Ben Lovejoy both suffered lower-body injuries Thursday and will not play against the Flyers. The 33-year-old Zajac has four points (two goals, two assists) in five games, while the 34-year-old Lovejoy sports a team-best plus-5 rating.

• The Flyers could see the timely return of Nolan Patrick, who has missed the last three games because of an upper-body injury. The 20-year-old center practiced Friday and is set to be back either Saturday or Monday.

Through three games and 3:30 of a period, Patrick has no points and a minus-5 mark. Still, the offense will come and his two-way focus would be a major boost for a team in need of much better forechecking and coverage, top to bottom.

A return would also set up another matchup between the top-two picks of the 2017 draft. No. 1 overall selection Nico Hischier had four points (two goals, two assists) in four games against the Flyers last season.

• Rookie center Mikhail Vorobyev may sit for a second straight game, especially if Patrick reinserts the lineup. It's not a bad time to have Vorobyev watch from the press box for a few games and understand what it takes to play night in and night out at the NHL level (see story).

• Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid is 4-1-0 with a 1.61 goals-against average and .941 save percentage through the first five games this season. In seven career matchups against the Flyers, Kinkaid is 6-1-0 with a 2.38 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.

• This is the first of four regular-season meetings between the Flyers and Devils. Dave Hakstol and company went 2-1-1 against New Jersey last season after going 1-3-1 vs. the Devils the year prior.

Projected lineup

Forwards
Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Wayne Simmonds
Oskar Lindblom-Jordan Weal-Travis Konecny
Scott Laughton-Nolan Patrick-Jakub Voracek
Michael Raffl-Jori Lehtera-Dale Weise

Defensemen
Ivan Provorov-Shayne Gostisbehere
Robert Hagg-Christian Folin
Travis Sanheim-Radko Gudas

Goalies
Brian Elliott
Calvin Pickard

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