Pete DeBoer gathered his troops at the end of Friday’s morning skate and gave the Golden Knights a quick pep talk.
After consecutive slow starts against St. Louis, the Knights coach wanted a better opening 10 minutes from his team against Arizona.
“How’d you hear that?” DeBoer asked the media on his videoconference call. “Was I mic’ed? Do I talk that loudly?”
Everyone in the building heard the message, including the players.
The Knights erupted for four goals in the opening 8:44 of the first period and picked up a 7-4 victory over Arizona at T-Mobile Arena on Friday night.
Smith finished with two goals, including a short-handed tally in the first period. Jonathan Marchessault, William Carrier and Keegan Kolesar also scored in the first to ignite the announced crowd of 3,950.
“The first four or five shifts we generated 10 to 15 shots and a couple goals, and I think that changed the game,” winger Reilly Smith said. “As the game went on I think we took our foot off the gas, but thankfully enough we had such a good start that we were able to pull it out because of what we were able to do the first couple shifts.”
Chandler Stephenson cashed in a breakaway for a 5-0 lead in the second period before the Coyotes closed the gap.
Max Pacioretty, playing in his 800th NHL game, scored into an empty net for his 299th career goal…