Lightning’s Alex Killorn Joins Exclusive Company

Alex Killorn’s first NHL point came against the New York Rangers.  His latest NHL point is probably the biggest point of his short career to date.  It certainly won’t be forgotten anytime soon.  It helped the Tampa Bay Lightning win Game 7 and advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

Alex Killorn broke a scoreless tie, just 1:54 into the third period.  He was able to streak down the left side of the ice, spun away from fellow Harvard grad Dominic Moore and then released a backhand shot that somehow beat Henrik Lundqvist 5-hole.  Turns out that was the only goal the Lightning needed, thanks to another strong performance by goalie Ben Bishop.

Killorn Lightning In A Bottle

Killorn’s game winning goal put him into some exclusive company.  He became just the ninth player since 2000 to score a game winning goal in a Game 7 of a Conference Final.  Killorn is the second member of the Tampa Bay Lightning to accomplish this feat.  Fredrik Modin did it in 2004, helping the Lightning beat the Flyers 2-1 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.  The Lightning went on to beat the Calgary Flames that year, in seven games.

Nathan Horton also scored a game winning goal in Game 7 of a Conference Final.  He scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 Game 7 win, against the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Horton’s birthday is May 29th, the same day in which Killorn notched his game winning goal.

The other members of the exclusive Game 7 Conference Final game winning goal club are Alec Martinez (2014), Rod Brind’amour (2005), Jeff Friesen (2003), Tomas Holmstrom (2002), Patrik Elias (2000) and Roman Lyashenko (2000).  Killorn is the third youngest member of this group at 25 years old.  Elias was 24 at the time of his goal in 2000; Lyashenko was 21 at the time of his goal.

killorn lightning
Killorn is just the ninth player, and third youngest since 2000, to score the game winning goal that put his team in the Stanley Cup Final. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

This list proves what we already know, that hockey is the ultimate team sport.  The names on this list wouldn’t be classified as “superstars.” But yet, they are remembered for some of the biggest moments in playoff history.  Tonight, we will add a 10th name to this exclusive club when the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks will play Game 7 to see which team will go to the Stanley Cup Final.  Who will be the hero tonight?

Related: [Tampa Bay Lightning, Eastern Conference Champions]