PHILADELPHIA, PA – Oskar Lindblom was just a visitor in the Flyers' locker room Tuesday, his presence enough to lift the spirits of a franchise rocked by the promising forward's cancer fight. He was never far from his teammates thoughts, and they tapped their sticks as Flyers fans stood in support, all in his corner as he faces his murky recovery ahead.
"It's something to play for, someone to play for, and we are alongside him in this fight and every step of the way," goalie Carter Hart said.
Philadelphia honored 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.