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Sunday, Oct 21, 2018
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Lightning journal: Alex Killorn’s just puttin’ on the Fitz

TAMPA — How big is FitzMagic? It has hit the Lightning, too.

Proving that Harvard guys stick together, Lightning forward Alex Killorn showed support for fellow Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick by, sort of, dressing up the way Fitzpatrick did after the Bucs' 27-21 victory Sunday against the Super Bowl champion Eagles.

After Tuesday's practice, Killorn wore a No. 14 Fitzpatrick jersey sent over by the Bucs, to go with his sunglasses and a chain that, uh, came from where?

"I don't know,'' Killorn said. "I think they use this in the weight room. It's not bad. Nothing like he was wearing.''

Killorn said he and some of his Lightning teammates are going to the Monday night game at Raymond James Stadium between the Bucs and Steelers.

"Maybe I'll wear this outfit to the game,'' Killorn said.

Killorn, 29, and Fitzpatrick, 35, were not at Harvard at the same time. Killorn was there from 2008 to 2012; Fitzpatrick was there from 2001 to 2005. But Killorn met Fitzpatrick last year and now is a huge fan of Fitzpatrick.

"It has been great,'' Killorn said. "I've been following his career. He has always shown he can make plays. He's a special player. This year, he has had a chance and he has really ran with it. I just hope he can keep it up.''

Don't look for Killorn to keep dressing up, however. He said he doesn't have a teammate who dresses cool like Fitzpatrick has with WR DeSean Jackson. Who comes the closest?

"I'll give it to Heddy (Victor Hedman),'' Killorn said. "He's got that European style.''

But it's not quite DeSean.

"No,'' Killorn said. "That guy knows how to dress. He has got a lot of flair. None of us have that kind of flair on our team, that's for sure.''

Finally, some live hockey

Albeit preseason hockey, but it was hockey nonetheless.

For the Lightning, it's a good thing it didn't count. The Hurricanes came in and defeated the Lightning 4-1 at Amalie Arena in the preseason opener for both teams.

"We played a team with a bunch of really hungry guys that were fired up to impressed," coach Jon Cooper said.

All five of the Lightning's all-stars from last season played, including G Andrei Vasilevskiy, who played the entire game. He gave up two even-strength and two power-play goals.

Earlier Tuesday, Cooper said Vasilevskiy would play this game and a couple next week.

While Vasilevskiy shook off some rust in net, the Lightning offense struggled. Carolina outshot Tampa Bay 35-17. The offensive struggles came with most veterans playing. A handful of prospects and roster hopefuls also skated.

The Lightning struggled the most through the first two periods, mustering only 10 shots while Carolina had 26. Valentin Zykov gave the Hurricanes a 3-0 lead when he scored in the final minute of the second period.

Mathieu Joseph scored the lone Lightning goal early in the third period. Although he scored the first NHL preseason goal of his career, Joseph said he could have played much better.

"I think we were just trying to get our legs and find timing and chemistry there because we haven't played in three, four months," Joseph said.

"I am sure it is going to come."

Another group of Lightning players will head to Carolina for another game against the Hurricanes at 7 Wednesday night (970-AM).

Times staff writer Nick Kelly contributed to this report.

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