How Lindblom’s resurgence helped redeem Flyers in a 4-3 win

Oskar Lindblom

Oskar Lindblom knows a thing or two about resilience.

And so it was only fitting the Flyers’ remarkable left wing led the charge during Thursday night’s game at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.

Lindblom scored the first of three consecutive Philadelphia goals in the second period for a 3-0 lead.

Then, after the Islanders had rallied to tie the score at 3-3 (due in part to some shaky goaltending by Carter Hart) in the third period, Lindblom scored again with 2:22 to play and the Flyers skated away with a character-check 4-3 win.

It was the Islanders’ first regulation-time home-ice loss (12-1-2) this season.

Most would agree this was a must-win for the Flyers, who were coming off a humiliating 9-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Ironically, Lindblom had been scratched for that game for what coach Alain Vigneault called a “reset,’’ possibly code for a need to play better.

Lindblom, who over the past 15 months has battled through both cancer and COVID-19, might not have taken the criticism to heart but he did show a lot of heart in this game, along with his two linemates, Claude Giroux and Travis Konecny.

The newly constructed line combined for three of the four goals and a total of seven points, including a goal and an assist by Giroux and three assists from Konecny.

For the sake of team confidence, the Flyers needed this one in the worst way. Letting a three-goal lead slip away in the final period and coming away with a loss would have been nothing short of disastrous.

Lindblom looked like his 2018-19 self when he scored 17 goals, then followed it up to lead the team in goals with 11 the following season before his career ground to a halt due to the cancer diagnosis in December.

“I was extremely pleased how he played tonight,’’ Vigneault said via media Zoom call. “Not just the fact that he was able to finish and get us the winning goal but he was strong on pucks, he looked good tonight, he was skating.

“So hopefully that’s the start of something real positive for him and our team. He’s such a good player when he’s on top of his game. Maybe that little break got him the mental and physical help that he needed. He came up big for us.’’

Lindblom said he didn’t require a recharge from a motivation standpoint but rather to re-energize physically.

“I was just trying to feel fresh, feel good out there and today I felt good,’’ he said. “We found a way to win and that’s all that matters. You want to play every game but sometimes you can’t.

“I played great today but there are going to be a lot of games coming up. So I have to keep doing that.’’

Giroux agreed the Flyers needed this one for get their season headed in the right direction again.

“(A win) not just for last night (at MSG) but if you look at the standings, some teams are playing some good hockey. Their getting some wins in a row. They’re going ahead in the standings,’’ he said.

“So for us to get this win, especially in regulation, it’s big.’’

Vigneault made a point of saying how well his leaders played. Jake Voracek scored a big goal, this coming after getting the OT winner on Monday night against the Rangers. Sean Couturier and Ivan Provorov also turned in much better efforts than Wednesday night.

“It’s always tough when you lose a game like that,’’ Lindblom said. “But we’re professionals and we have to get back on track right away. Claude and them showed the way, showed that they’re our leaders.’’

>Leaders come through

Hart also credited the Flyers’ veteran leadership for setting the tone in this game.

“Obviously last night was disappointing for all of us,’’ Hart said. “The leadership guys all stepped up, said the right things in the locker room. Actions speak louder than words. That last goal was huge and we’ll carry it into Saturday’s game.’’

>Fierce forecheck leads the way

The Flyers’ had one of their best forechecks going in the first two periods and held the high-powered Islanders to just 13 shots in those first 40 minutes.

Lindblom put a shot past Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov at the 2:26 mark and goals from Giroux (10:04) and Voracek (14:01) followed.

But the Islanders picked up goals at 7:53, 13:53 and 14:27 in the third period to set up the dramatic ending.

>Hart unravels in third period

Hart looked particularly vulnerable in the third period when the Islanders did generate a dozen shots.

He’s trying to piece his game back together, although his save percentage is still hovering around a mediocre .880.

“Definitely need to make more saves in the third period,’’ he said. “So they don’t come back in the game. At the end of the day we got the two points and that’s something to build off of.’’

>Favorable numbers

Lindblom recorded his second career two-goal game. His first came at Detroit on Feb. 17, 2019. . .Giroux registered his third multi-point game of March. He has four goals, two assists for six points in his last six games. . .Konecny picked up his third career three-assist game and 10th career game with three or more points.H

Avatar photo
About Wayne Fish 2473 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.