Kucherov scores, Lightning top Sabres 3-2 in Sweden

STOCKHOLM (AP) Nikita Kucherov got the Tampa Bay Lightning off to a fast start in Sweden.

Kucherov scored and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 20 saves to help Tampa Bay beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on Friday night in the first of their two regular-season games in the Swedish capital.

The sold-out games at Ericsson Globe are part of the NHL Global Series.

Alex Killorn and Yanni Gourde also scored for the Lightning.

Sam Reinhart twice scored for Buffalo. The Sabres have lost four straight.

Kucherov opened the scoring at 3:19 of the first period. Brayden Point and Kevin Shattenkirk set up the play for Kucherov to sweep in on a one-timer. The reigning NHL MVP has five goals and seven assists this season. He had He had 41 goals and 128 points last season.

''That's a world-class finish,'' Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. ''Great play. Great for Shatty to recognize that and wrap that around. I'll have to see, but I don't know if that puck hit the ice. Not a lot of guys can do that, but he's one of them. I thought he had a great game after that.''

Shattenkirk has three assists in last two games

Kucherov made his presence felt again later in the period when Buffalo forward Vladimir Sobotka needed assistance from his teammates to get off the ice after a hit from the Lightning star.

''Their decision was it was a fair hit,'' Buffalo coach Ralph Krueger said. ''We need to move on whether we like it or not.''

Krueger said Sobotka was ''definitely'' out Saturday.

''I think the both teams understand the competitiveness of our division and this first challenge between us is worth more than just two points and that's why you had that intensity tonight.

The Lightning, last season's Presidents' Trophy winners, improved to 7-5-2 amid a slow start to the season.

''We made smart decisions with the puck,'' Cooper said. ''And when you do that you limit odd-man rushes, which I thought we did tonight.''

Killorn scored on a power play with 3:46 remaining in the period, tipping home favorite Victor Hedman's slap shot from the blue line past goalie Linus Ullmark. Hedman, the only Swede on the Tampa Bay team, recovered from a lower-body injury in time to play.

''That was probably one of the most special things I've experienced as a hockey player, hearing the (Swedish) national anthem before an NHL game. I was really focusing in on that flag and trying to keep emotions in check.''

Reinhart cut it to 2-1 with 4:17 left in the second, redirecting Rasmus Ristolainen's wrist shot.

Gourde scored at 7:45 of the third, and Reinhart struck again with 8:30 to go.

''Our offence definitely needs to shoot more,'' Krueger said. We need to create more pressure on the net. We'll definitely be speaking about that.''

The Sabres had a flying start to the season with a 8-1-1 record but are 1-4-1 since. They scored just three goals in the past three games.

It's the third straight year - and eighth overall - the NHL has played in Europe to try to increase its local following in hockey-mad countries including Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic. The Philadelphia Flyers beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in their season opener in Prague on Oct 4.

NOTES: It was the 27th NHL regular-season game in Europe, 12th in Sweden and 11th at Ericsson Globe. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Friday the Boston Bruins and the Nashville Predators will open the regular season next year with a game in Prague, and the Colorado Avalanche and the Columbus Blue Jackets will play a couple of games in the Finnish capital of Helsinki. ... Vasilevskiy is 9-1-1 against the Sabres. . .. Buffalo D Rasmus Ristolainen assisted on Reinhart's first, to reach career 200 points.

UP NEXT

The Sabres and Lightning complete the two-game series in Stockholm on Saturday night.

---

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Copyright 2019 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

123T
TB7-5-2
2013
BUF9-5-2
0112
STARS OF THE GAME
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
E. Cernak D00040/0217:421
A. Cirelli C000110/5014:491
Y. Gourde RW10122/0213:340
V. Hedman D01120/0025:470
T. Johnson C00111/1015:441
M. Joseph RW00000/0011:590
A. Killorn LW10030/0017:071
N. Kucherov RW10130/0021:231
P. Maroon LW01130/0013:010
R. McDonagh D00010/0019:512
O. Palat LW00-210/0214:142
C. Paquette C01144/4013:131
B. Point C011215/2018:500
L. Schenn D00-100/0015:253
M. Sergachev D00-100/0016:051
K. Shattenkirk D01140/0020:541
S. Stamkos LW01-228/6015:410
A. Volkov RW00-210/0010:363
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
R. Dahlin D00010/0218:500
J. Eichel C00217/12223:161
Z. Girgensons LW00001/1012:532
M. Johansson C00-102/7017:273
H. Jokiharju D01000/0018:501
J. Larsson C00042/12016:311
J. McCabe D01010/0218:401
C. Miller D00-100/0020:172
C. Mittelstadt C00-103/6013:030
B. Montour D00020/0018:111
K. Okposo RW00001/0009:121
V. Olofsson LW01220/0020:491
S. Reinhart RW20270/0020:563
R. Ristolainen D01100/0221:329
C. Sheary RW00-100/0012:090
J. Skinner LW00-130/1216:552
V. Sobotka RW00-102/1004:120
J. Vesey LW00-110/0010:521
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
A. Vasilevskiy (W)2222060:00
GOALIESSA
A. Vasilevskiy (W)22
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
L. Ullmark (L)3433158:13
GOALIESSA
L. Ullmark (L)34
19:10Sam Reinhart shot on goal (Wrist shot)
LEGEND:GoalsShotsGoalsShots
Full Play By Play
GOALS
  • 3RD PERIOD
    • BUF
      11:30GOAL Sam Reinhart (Wrist shot), Assists: Henri Jokiharju and Victor Olofsson
    • TB
      07:45GOAL Yanni Gourde (Wrist shot), Assists: Pat Maroon and Cedric Paquette
  • 2ND PERIOD
    • BUF
      15:43GOAL Sam Reinhart (Tip-in shot), Assists: Rasmus Ristolainen and Jake McCabe
  • 1ST PERIOD
    • TB
      16:14(PP) GOAL Alex Killorn (Tip-in shot), Assists: Victor Hedman and Steven Stamkos
    • TB
      03:19GOAL Nikita Kucherov (Wrist shot), Assists: Brayden Point and Kevin Shattenkirk
PENALTIES
  • 3RD PERIOD
    • BUF
      14:12Jack Eichel penalty Tripping - 2 min.
    • TB
      07:49Yanni Gourde penalty High Sticking - 2 min.
    • BUF
      04:26Jeff Skinner penalty Roughing - 2 min.
    • TB
      04:26Ondrej Palat penalty Roughing - 2 min.
    • BUF
      04:26Rasmus Ristolainen penalty Interference - 2 min.
  • 2ND PERIOD
    • BUF
      05:50Jake McCabe penalty High Sticking - 2 min.
  • 1ST PERIOD
    • TB
      18:55Erik Cernak penalty Interference - 2 min.
    • BUF
      15:20Rasmus Dahlin penalty Interference - 2 min.
TEAM STATS
TB
BUF
Shots on Goal3422
Goals in Power Play10
Faceoff Wins4018
Penalties35
Major Penalties00
Minor Penalties35
Misconducts00
TEAM STATS
TB
Shots on Goal34
Goals in Power Play1
Faceoff Wins40
Penalties3
Major Penalties0
Minor Penalties3
Misconducts0
123T
TB7-5-2
2013
BUF9-5-2
0112
STARS OF THE GAME
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
E. Cernak D00040/0217:421
A. Cirelli C000110/5014:491
Y. Gourde RW10122/0213:340
V. Hedman D01120/0025:470
T. Johnson C00111/1015:441
M. Joseph RW00000/0011:590
A. Killorn LW10030/0017:071
N. Kucherov RW10130/0021:231
P. Maroon LW01130/0013:010
R. McDonagh D00010/0019:512
O. Palat LW00-210/0214:142
C. Paquette C01144/4013:131
B. Point C011215/2018:500
L. Schenn D00-100/0015:253
M. Sergachev D00-100/0016:051
K. Shattenkirk D01140/0020:541
S. Stamkos LW01-228/6015:410
A. Volkov RW00-210/0010:363
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
R. Dahlin D00010/0218:500
J. Eichel C00217/12223:161
Z. Girgensons LW00001/1012:532
M. Johansson C00-102/7017:273
H. Jokiharju D01000/0018:501
J. Larsson C00042/12016:311
J. McCabe D01010/0218:401
C. Miller D00-100/0020:172
C. Mittelstadt C00-103/6013:030
B. Montour D00020/0018:111
K. Okposo RW00001/0009:121
V. Olofsson LW01220/0020:491
S. Reinhart RW20270/0020:563
R. Ristolainen D01100/0221:329
C. Sheary RW00-100/0012:090
J. Skinner LW00-130/1216:552
V. Sobotka RW00-102/1004:120
J. Vesey LW00-110/0010:521
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
A. Vasilevskiy (W)2222060:00
GOALIESSA
A. Vasilevskiy (W)22
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
L. Ullmark (L)3433158:13
GOALIESSA
L. Ullmark (L)34
STARS OF THE GAME
123T
TB7-5-2
2013
BUF9-5-2
0112
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
E. Cernak D00040/0217:421
A. Cirelli C000110/5014:491
Y. Gourde RW10122/0213:340
V. Hedman D01120/0025:470
T. Johnson C00111/1015:441
M. Joseph RW00000/0011:590
A. Killorn LW10030/0017:071
N. Kucherov RW10130/0021:231
P. Maroon LW01130/0013:010
R. McDonagh D00010/0019:512
O. Palat LW00-210/0214:142
C. Paquette C01144/4013:131
B. Point C011215/2018:500
L. Schenn D00-100/0015:253
M. Sergachev D00-100/0016:051
K. Shattenkirk D01140/0020:541
S. Stamkos LW01-228/6015:410
A. Volkov RW00-210/0010:363
Total3603440/186-18
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
R. Dahlin D00010/0218:500
J. Eichel C00217/12223:161
Z. Girgensons LW00001/1012:532
M. Johansson C00-102/7017:273
H. Jokiharju D01000/0018:501
J. Larsson C00042/12016:311
J. McCabe D01010/0218:401
C. Miller D00-100/0020:172
C. Mittelstadt C00-103/6013:030
B. Montour D00020/0018:111
K. Okposo RW00001/0009:121
V. Olofsson LW01220/0020:491
S. Reinhart RW20270/0020:563
R. Ristolainen D01100/0221:329
C. Sheary RW00-100/0012:090
J. Skinner LW00-130/1216:552
V. Sobotka RW00-102/1004:120
J. Vesey LW00-110/0010:521
Total2402218/4010-29
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
A. Vasilevskiy (W)2222060:00
GOALIESSA
A. Vasilevskiy (W)22
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
L. Ullmark (L)3433158:13
GOALIESSA
L. Ullmark (L)34
GOALS
  • 3RD PERIOD
  • 2ND PERIOD
  • 1ST PERIOD
PENALTIES
  • 3RD PERIOD
  • 2ND PERIOD
  • 1ST PERIOD
  • 3RD PERIOD
  • 2ND PERIOD
  • 1ST PERIOD

123T
TB7-5-2
2013
BUF9-5-2
0112
All times are US/Eastern.