Lightning forward Alex Killorn has kept a diary throughout the 2019 NHL Global Series in Stockholm. In the final installment, he talks about the Lightning's 5-3 victory against the Buffalo Sabres in the second game at Ericsson Globe on Saturday.
Killorn discusses what the sweep of the Sabres means, the impact of forward Pat Maroon, who had two goals, how special it was to share all of this with Sweden-born defenseman Victor Hedman and what his memories of this week-long visit will be.
What a fun game to be a part of! I think this is one of the first games this season where we kind of pulled away with it and had a bigger lead than a one-goal lead. It felt good.
I was really happy with the way we played in the third. Buffalo took it to us in the second and goalie Curtis McElhinney played great to keep us in the lead. But I was really happy with the way we controlled the game in the third.
What a game by Pat Maroon and his line tonight. They played great in both of these games actually. It was great to see Pat have a game like that. I know he only had one goal this season before tonight, but I don't know if I would say he was struggling. He gets hit in the head against New York and missed a couple of games, but when he is in the lineup, he always plays the same way. They just seemed to go in for him tonight. He almost had that third one at the end of the game into the empty net. That would have been something. He shoots it down, hits the post, along the goal line, and then the other post and out. Unbelievable! I have never seen that before.
But that line, with Maroon, Yanni Gourde and Cedric Paquette, was our best line all weekend, especially tonight. They play a simple hockey game, but it is really tough when you are throwing all sorts of pucks on net and there are rebounds bouncing everywhere in the defensive zone. That's tough to play against. They really got us going big-time this weekend.
Victor Hedman got his goal this time too, which was awesome for him. I almost deflected this one too, they might want to go check it. Just kidding. That goal really got us going as well; he was so excited, and it was an amazing moment. He has such a heavy shot. With his stick and how tall he is and how heavy he is, he can beat goalies when a lot of guys can't from that far out.
This weekend meant a lot to him, I know that. We all play in front of a lot of friends and family in North America and I don't think he's had an opportunity to do that in the NHL. He had a lot of people here tonight, and throughout this weekend. It was nice for him to be rewarded in these two games. I'm sure it will live on for him forever.
This whole trip was a great time for us. We grew as a team and that was obvious, I think. We did a lot of bonding, a lot of team meals. Two wins at the end was great. When we were saluting the crowd after we won the game tonight, that was the first time I really looked in the crowd to see how many Lightning fans there were, and they were everywhere. That was a special moment.
Now it is time to put this trip behind us and head back to Tampa and pick up the season in a few days. I'm going to savor this for a bit longer first though. It has been an amazing experience.