The Global Series continues in 2019 with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Buffalo Sabres hitting the ice in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday for the first of back-to-back games.

Buffalo is making its second trip across the pond; the Sabres defeated Anaheim in Finland and Los Angeles in Germany back in 2011. Tampa Bay lost back-to-back games to the Rangers in 2008 in the Czech Republic.

The games mark a homecoming for a few Swedes, including the Lightning’s Victor Hedman, who missed the past two games with an injury but will play Friday. Among the five Swedish nationals with Buffalo is 19-year-old Rasmus Dahlin, who won silver at World Juniors in 2018 for Tre kronor. The other players are forwards Marcus Johansson, Johan Larsson and Victor Olofsson, goaltender Linus Ullmark and defenseman Lawrence Pilut, who was recalled from Rochester (AHL) for the games. In October, Sweden topped non-North American countries with 79 players on season-opening rosters, representing 11.4 percent of the League’s 690 total players.

Aside from the fanfare, four big points are at stake as Buffalo looks to avoid extending its losing streak and Tampa needs to finally right the ship. The Sabres are 1-3-1 in their past five games (including a three-game losing streak) and have been outscored 15-7, a far cry from where they started the season (8-1-1). It’s also been an interesting star for the Lightning, who won 62 games last season, tying the NHL record, and have started off 2019-20 inconsistent (6-5-2).

Lighting vs. Sabres live score, updates, highlights

(All times Eastern)

Pregame

5:36 a.m. — Morning skates in Stockholm.

5:34 a.m. — It looks like the Bolts’ lone Swede is a go for the game.

Thursday

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