By Henry Graham
The Flyers honored Oskar Lindblom and beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 behind goals by Claude Giroux, David Kase and Jake Voracek.
The Flyers played their first home game since Lindblom was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a cancerous tumor that grows in the bones or in the tissue around bones. The 23-year-old from Sweden, who is out for the season, stopped by the locker room during morning skate and visited his teammates.
“It was great to see him again,” Giroux said.
The Flyers warmed up in purple “Hockey Fights Cancer” jerseys and will auction them off with proceeds going to Ewing’s sarcoma research. They left “I Fight For Oskar” signs on every seat, and fans held them during a tribute video for Lindblom. Ducks and Flyers players tapped their sticks and fans stood and applauded the promising forward who had 11 goals and 18 points in 30 games this season. The Flyers sold #OskarStrong purple shirts, and proceeds from the 50/50 raffle were donated toward Ewing’s sarcoma research.
“I can just tell you it was great to see him today,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said. “His teammates care deeply about him and as an organization we’ll do whatever we can to help him. There’s some pretty good energy in the room today, and I think that’s in large part to seeing Oskar.”
The Flyers went 0-3 on a road trip where they were told of Lindblom’s health issues. Back home and inspired by their teammate, they got two quick goals from Giroux and Kase early in the second period to hold off the mediocre Ducks.
Hart had 40 saves for the Flyers in a sensational effort.
“Hockey is one big family and it is cool to see how much support he is getting not just from us, but from the fans and around the league and the world,” Hart said.
Rickard Rakell made it 2-1 in the second with his 10th goal. Voracek added his seventh in the third and Sean Couturier knocked in an empty-netter in the final seconds.
Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said it was important for Lindblom to reunite with his teammates.
“He’s got a tremendous amount of support obviously from his family but from his extended family, the Flyers players, their wives and the coaches and their wives, the great fans we have here in Philly and across the States that are gonna support him,” he said. “Hockey’s a real strong and real good community and Oskar is a real good and real strong person. He is gonna be around. He’s gonna be back as soon as he possibly can.”