GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Golden Knights’ top line came through on opening night, and one of the players on that line thinks it’s a preview of things to come.
David Perron, who plays on the opposite wing from James Neal and with center Cody Eakin, said the more they play together, the better they should be.
“We’ve only been together a few games in the preseason,” Perron said Saturday before the Knights’ game against the Arizona Coyotes. “Now we’ve got James, and he obviously knows what to do with the puck, so we need to keep feeding him.”
Neal missed the preseason after undergoing offseason surgery on his right hand, but he was activated Friday and had both goals in the Knights’ 2-1 win over Dallas in their NHL debut. As a line, they had 10 shots.
Perron, the first Golden Knight to attempt a shot, said his first-period wrister just inside the Stars’ blue line that goalie Ben Bishop handled was a good effort.
“Yeah, that’s pretty cool to have taken the first shot,” Perron said. “I didn’t even realize it until afterward, but it was a good shot.”
Tocchet remembers Fleury
Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet has two Stanley Cup rings from when he was an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He can thank Marc-Andre Fleury in part for the jewelry.
“He’s the reason we won the Cup last year the way he played in those two series (vs. Columbus and Washington),” Tocchet said Saturday morning at the Coyotes’ pregame skate in Scottsdale. “He’s a wonderful guy. He never let the team see his disappointment when he didn’t get to play.
“The stuff he does. Some of the trainers had family on the road and couldn’t get tickets. He gets them tickets. He pays for it. He sets them up for dinner. He does all that stuff. That’s why his teammates love him.”
Tocchet, who also has a ring as a player on Pittsburgh’s 1992 championship team, said the two have communicated since Fleury became a member of the Golden Knights and Tocchet became the Coyotes’ coach.
“I saw him at the NHL Awards, and he was excited about his new opportunity with Vegas,” Tocchet said. “When I got hired, he said, ‘Hey, let’s start a rivalry. It’ll be good for hockey.’ Once the game starts, Flower is all business.”
Tuch’s fast start
Right wing Alex Tuch, who was reassigned by the Knights to the American Hockey League on Tuesday, had a hat trick for the Chicago Wolves on opening night Friday during a 6-5 loss at the Texas Stars.
Shea Theodore and Teemu Pulkkinen scored the other goals for Chicago, which concluded its two-game road series with the Stars on Saturday. Knights general manager George McPhee planned to watch.
The Knights will take Sunday off after back-to-back games, then practice Monday at City National Arena. Their home opener is Tuesday at 7 p.m. against the Coyotes at T-Mobile Arena.