Alex Killorn is keeping his own diary throughout the week and through the 2019 NHL Global Series in Stockholm. In the fourth installment, the Tampa Bay Lightning forward talks about the 3-2 victory against the Buffalo Sabres in the first game at Ericsson Globe on Friday. Killorn discusses the special atmosphere for the game, what it meant to Sweden-born defenseman Victor Hedman, and the power-play goal he scored off a Hedman shot. He also tells of how Tampa Bay is finding its form heading into the second game Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN1, SUN, MSG-B, NHL.TV).
This game was huge for us. It seems every game this season has been a battle for us right now, which is a little bit different than last year when we seemed to run away with games. Now it feels like every game is a one-goal game, and it is a real battle to the end like it was tonight, and we have been on the wrong side of a couple of those games.
To get this win tonight, knowing that tomorrow we have an opportunity to get back-to-back wins, for us it's a great opportunity.
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I don't know if I can say enough about the atmosphere. It was absolutely fantastic to see these fans and see how passionate they are about the game and the Swedish players. The anthem, oh man. That was special. Hedman was almost crying. He was just really proud of his people, the Swedish people, how they all came out to sell out this building.
Then he gets an assist. What is better than that? What a great story. I was lucky to get a stick on that Hedman shot on his shot from the point on the power play, which was such a cool moment. I was just in the right spot at the right time. Usually he just puts those in himself, but my stick was there, and it just hit my stick. It was a great feeling.
Video: TBL@BUF: Killorn, Hedman combine for power-play goal
The other special moment of the game was the Nikita Kucherov goal that he scored at the start the game. It really set the tone and it was an unbelievable play by everybody involved. Brayden Point made the pass there, but I think when you look back at it, if you ask Pointer he probably wouldn't think it was the best, flattest pass, but [Kucherov] is such a skilled player that he almost picked it, not out of the air, but right when it hit the ground. When I saw the pass, I wasn't thinking it was going to be a goal, but that just shows you what a goal-scorer he is. He's taken a lot of one-timers from that position.
Now we have a chance to get two more points against a division rival and win a couple of games in a row, which has been hard so far this season. We have been in these situations before, and it is hard to get back at it so quickly. I think the only nice part is that we have had a week off here, so we are well-rested. We just have to take care of our bodies and stay hydrated. We have been here for a while, but your bodies are always adjusting to the different time zone. We are really excited for tomorrow. What a great opportunity.
It is starting to feel like we have our game back a little. It's gradual, and it can be a long process. I think just looking at the amount of time we spent in the defensive zone, the chances we were able to garner, I think it is definitely a step in the right direction.
Video: TBL@BUF: Kucherov buries one-timer to open scoring