STOCKHOLM -- On a night of standing ovations for William Nylander, none was more meaningful, more heartfelt, more tearful than this one.

As the Toronto Maple Leafs forward emerged from the postgame interview room into the Avicii Arena bowl Friday, his family, waiting in the stands, busted out into a simultaneous cheer that lasted at least 10 seconds.

It was the “Roar Heard ‘Round Sweden.” And it was well deserved.

“It was such a special night,” Nylander said.

For him. For the Maple Leafs. And for all of Swedish hockey.

Asked if the night could have followed more of a Hollywood script, Nylander replied, “I could have scored into the empty net.”

TOR@DET: Nylander ties Global Series Sweden game in 3rd

It was his only mistake in an otherwise remarkable evening that will be remembered by the Nylander family, if not all Swedish hockey fans, for years to come.

Nylander led the way in the Maple Leafs’ come-from-behind 3-2 victory against the Detroit Red Wings in the 2023 NHL Global Series Sweden presented by Fastenal with a goal and two assists, including one on John Tavares’ game-winner at 14:27 of the third period.

In the process, the 27-year-old extended his point streak to 16 games, the franchise record to start a season. He has 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) during the streak.

Asked what he’d remember the most, his numbers didn’t even enter the equation.

“I don’t know, family being here, the Swedish fans, those things,” said Nylander, who was born in Canada but has citizenship in Sweden. “This was very special and a lot of fun for sure. And then that we were able to pull the win out too.”

But this was about more than individual statistics. This was about an entire country embracing its hockey history.

“I mean, it was a special day for all the Swedes on the team and obviously the history the Leafs have with Swedish players,” Nylander said.

It started prior to the game when Maple Leafs players arrived at the arena to find a patch honoring the late Borje Salming on their blue-and-white jerseys. Salming, who joined the Maple Leafs in 1973 and became the first European NHLer inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996, died last November of ALS.

Once the players were dressed and ready to go, coach Sheldon Keefe delivered another surprise for them, announcing that Swedish icon Mats Sundin would be addressing them. Cheers erupted as the former Toronto captain, the Maple Leafs leader in goals (420) and points (987), emerged to read out the lineup.

TOR@DET: Tavares, Bertuzzi combine for go-ahead goal in 3rd

Keefe said management had talked to Sundin about doing it during a staff dinner Thursday.

“We thought it was a good idea to let him have that moment,” Keefe said. “And we thought it would be impactful as well with our group and our franchise’s connection with Sweden. It’s a very strong one.

“I thought it was a very fitting thing and an obvious thing for us to do.”

This was no ordinary lineup, either.

Realizing the significance of the occasion, Keefe had three Swedes in the starting lineup: Nylander, forward Calle Jarnkrok and defenseman William Lagesson. Also on the ice was forward Max Domi, who’s known Sundin since his dad, Tie, and Mats were teammates with the Maple Leafs in the late 1990s.

Max to this day considers Sundin his idol. Keefe understood that, and wanted Domi to know that too.

After the national anthems were complete, Nylander and a fellow Swede, Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond, took part in the ceremonial face-off. The puck was dropped by Anders Salming, Borje’s son.

The Swedish theme to the max.

Once the game started, the Red Wings broke open a tight game with second-period goals to go up 2-0. One of those came via Raymond, causing the crowd to celebrate the exploits of one of their native sons.

Then the third period arrived, and Nylander took over.

He delivered a perfect cross-crease pass to Tyler Bertuzzi, who directed the puck past Red Wings goalie Alex Lyon to cut the Detroit lead to 2-1 at 3:50.

Nylander tied the game on the power play at 13:03 with his 13th goal of the season, a snap shot from the slot that found the top corner.

Then came the Tavares heroics to put the Maple Leafs up 3-2. And yes, Nylander could have sealed the deal by scoring into the empty net after the Red Wings had pulled Lyon, but in the end, it wasn’t needed.

Afterward, Tavares noted that Nylander had put himself “among the game’s elites.”

The crowd couldn’t have agreed more.

Indeed, as the fans rose out of their seats after the final horn, Nylander was presented the player-of-the-game award by Anders Salming. The perfect ending to an almost perfect night.

Global Series Sweden: Anders Salming drops the puck

There was still one more special moment to come.

When Nylander went to meet his family, there was one hug that resonated more than the rest. It was with Eva Altelius, his 73-year-old maternal grandmother, who had never before seen William play live.

She picked a great time to finally do it. And she wasn't disappointed.

Other than the Red Wings, few in the building were.