In Las Vegas, the pain is still fresh.
After all, it has been less than two weeks since the deadly Oct. 1 shooting spree during the Route 91 Harvest Festival that claimed the lives of 58 people, injured nearly 500 and shook the country to the core. Local residents are, understandably, still recovering and trying to come to terms with such a senseless act of violence.
In the grand scheme of things, the home debut of the new hockey team in town is trivial. But the Las Vegas Golden Knights used the moment on Tuesday night before their contest against the Arizona Coyotes to help the healing process. Their opening ceremony included a 58-second moment of silence to honor those killed in the shooting, while also recognizing many of the first responders who saved lives and comforted survivors.
The proceedings began with a video that showed flower-covered memorials, as well as clips of hospital workers, cops and firefighters. The words "Vegas Strong" were everywhere, appearing along the boards, where they replaced the usual advertising for the night.
Survivors of the shooting helped owner Bill Foley -- the man who brought Vegas its first major pro sports team -- drop the ceremonial first puck.
And during the moment of silence, the names of those who died were projected onto the ice.
With his colleagues standing with him, a member of the group that operates the Harvest Festival led the crowd in singing the national anthem, which ended with the crowd roaring with applause.
The ceremony had another moving moment: Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland -- who played minor league hockey in Vegas and is a long-time resident -- addressed the crowd, saying, "I know how special this city is."
As fans waved their rally towels, the P.A. announcer began to whip the crowd into a frenzy, imploring them to "tell Vegas and the world that we are ready for this" and leading them in chants of "Go, Knights, go" as drummers perched above the seating bowl kept a beat.
Then, it was time to play hockey -- and the team stepped up to the moment, playing with passion and purpose.
Knights Winger Tomas Nosek opened the scoring for Vegas against Coyotes goalie Antti Raanta just a minute and a half into the action. Then Engelland, the hometown guy, added a goal about two minutes later.
James Neal, who's gotten off to a hot start this season, piled on. And at 10:42 of the first period, Neal scored again, his fifth goal of the young season.
The game was never in doubt: The Golden Knights entered the dressing room after the first period up 4-1 over Arizona, and added a fifth goal to extend their lead to 5-1. They'd go on to win 5-2, and as the final buzzer sounded, the Golden Knights became the first expansion team in NHL history to open its season 3-0.
But the biggest win was before the puck even dropped. This is a team that has embraced its wounded city. And the city has embraced it back.