PHILADELPHIA – For many of the current Flyers, showing ways to support a teammate with a life-changing health problem is a new thing.
On Thursday, the team announced that players were going to wear a special undershirt with the number 23 (Oskar Lindblom’s number) in lavender print along with the words “Oskar Strong’’ for the game against the Buffalo Sabres at the Wells Fargo Center.
It’s not known if this will be an on-going thing but for now, it’s quite a telling gesture.
Earlier, the Flyers hung a special Lindblom jersey in his locker, facing out, in another tribute to his courage.
Last Friday it was revealed that Lindblom has been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.
The 23-year-old left wing will be undergoing treatment, possibly at the University of Pennsylvania, and is not expected to play the remainder of this season.
>Strong home record
Going into Thursday night’s game, the Flyers sported a record of 11-2-4 at home so far this season.
That 17-game ledger (26 points) is a points percentage of .765. That’s the franchise’s best home points percentage to this point in a season since the 1995-96 team went 15-3-1 for 31 points over its first 19 home games.
The Flyers haven’t been over a .700 points percentage at home at this point since 2008-09 when they were 12-4-3 for 27 points (.711) through 19 home games.
Also, the Flyers have been averaging 3.59 goals at home, which is ranked sixth in the NHL. It’s also 1.2 goals more than what they average on the road (2.41).
>Myers in, Hagg out
Defenseman Philippe Myers, now fully recovered from back spasms he suffered on the recent road trip, was back in the lineup against Buffalo and Robert Hagg went back to the bench.
Coach Alain Vigneault said Buffalo’s speed might have played a factor in his decision to start Myers. But he also wants to keep an active rotation so neither defenseman gets rusty.
“It’s not easy on defense (with seven healthy players),’’ Vigneault said at the morning skate. “We’ve been getting some good performances. We’ve got some decisions to make and you make them on the best interests of the team.
“At the same time, there’s a little rotation there that needs to happen and that’s what we’re doing.’’
While Myers leads the Flyers with a plus-14, Vigneault still sees some room for improvement.
“Phil’s decisions with the puck need to be better,’’ Vigneault said. “That’s when he seems to be getting himself in trouble.’’
Going into the Buffalo game, goalie Carter Hart was 9-4-2 in 16 games since Nov. 1. During that span, he posted a 2.06 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage. The GAA ranks fifth in the NHL over that span. . .The Flyers have used 26 different skaters since Nov. 1 and 22 of them have registered at least a point. . .Prior to the Buffalo game, the Flyers were 15-1-3 when leading or tied after one period.