STOCKHOLM -- Victor Hedman had an enjoyable homecoming in his return to the lineup when the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 at the 2019 NHL Global Series at Ericsson Globe on Friday.
The Sweden-born defenseman, who missed the previous two games with a lower-body injury, had an assist to help the Lightning win for the second time in three games and was locked in from the drop of the puck.
"I felt like we really played to our structure," Hedman said. "We played the way we want to play. I think we kept them to 12 scoring chances, which is very good. … I think overall it was a good performance for our team. ... Hearing the (Sweden) national anthem before an NHL game, that was super special. I was really focusing in on that flag and trying to keep the emotions in check."
The teams play again here Saturday.
[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Sabres highlights | Complete Global Series coverage]
Hedman is the only Sweden-born player on the Lightning. The Sabres had five Sweden-born players; goalie Linus Ullmark, who made 31 saves, defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and forwards Marcus Johansson, Johan Larsson and Victor Olofsson (who had an assist).
Nikita Kucherov, Alex Killorn and Yanni Gourde scored for the Lightning (7-5-2), who won for the second time in five games (2-2-1). Andrei Vasilevskiy made 20 saves.
"We kept our game really simple, we chipped the puck in and we were really good on the forecheck," Gourde said. "That is something we have talked about in the past, that our forecheck is our greatest asset and we have to use it. I think tonight was a good example of it."
Video: TBL@BUF: Kucherov buries one-timer to open scoring
Sam Reinhart scored twice for the Sabres (9-5-2), who are winless in their past four games (0-3-1).
"I think for a lot of the game, we played the way we wanted to," Reinhart said, "I think there was just a couple of instances when our tempo slowed down, we were a little disconnected and that led to their opportunities. For the most part, I think when we were connected and supporting each other, we created a lot of chances for ourselves."
Kucherov scored on a one-timer at 3:19 of the first period for a 1-0 lead.
Hedman assisted on Killorn's goal at 16:14 to make it 2-0. He played give-and-go with Steven Stamkos on the power play before taking a slap shot that was deflected by Killorn.
"Just really happy that not only he plays well in the game, he gets a point and the team wins," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of Hedman. "It's a little hat trick for [Hedman]."
Reinhart made it 2-1 with 4:17 left in the second period on a deflection. The goal initially was disallowed because the referee ruled it was played by a high stick, but the call was overturned after video review.
Video: TBL@BUF: Reinhart deflects home Ristolainen's shot
Gourde scored the eventual game-winning goal at 7:45 of the third period for a 3-1 lead, putting home a loose puck in the slot after an impressive forecheck by forward Pat Maroon helped work the puck into a dangerous area.
Reinhart scored his second of the game and seventh of the season at 11:30 of the third period to make it 3-2. Olofsson had an assist on the goal.
"I feel like we started off pretty good ... and then they got that 1-0 lead and I felt that we kind of fell back on our heels a little bit," Olofsson said. "If you take a step back against a team like Tampa, it's going to be hard."
Video: TBL@BUF: Reinhart wires home wrister for second goal
They said it
"We're looking forward to another great game tomorrow. Obviously we want to end with another win, and they obviously want to end on a high note. So tomorrow's going to be another tough game, and we've just got to expect to bring our A-game." -- Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman
"We really feel a good spirit from them this week, and the emotions of hearing your anthem at an NHL game were high. I thought we came out of the gate in the right way. We didn't do anything special with [the Europeans]. It was business as usual for us tonight, and we were doing everything to come out with the two points. We're very disappointed with the result. We'll come out fighting tomorrow because these guys are proud to be here at home and they want to change this storyline." -- Sabres coach Ralph Krueger on the mindset of his five Sweden-born players
"That's a world-class finish. Great play for Shatty to recognize that when he wrapped it around and Pointer throws that over to him and I don't know if that puck hits the ice and [Kucherov] puts it in. Not a lot of guys can do that and he is one." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper on Kucherov's goal, which started with an outlet pass from defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and a saucer pass from Brayden Point
Need to know
Buffalo forward Vladimir Sobotka left the game at 14:20 of the first period after being injured on a hit by Kucherov. He was helped off the ice and will not play Saturday. … Kucherov's goal was his fifth of the season but just his second in the past 10 games. … This was the 27th regular-season NHL game played in Europe.
Lightning: Against the Buffalo Sabres in the 2019 NHL Global Series in Stockholm on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN1, SUN, MSG-B, NHL.TV)
Sabres: Against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2019 NHL Global Series in Stockholm on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN1, SUN, MSG-B, NHL.TV)
Video: Kucherov, Killorn pace Lightning to 3-2 win in Sweden