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Oskar Lindblom plays first game for Flyers since cancer battle

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders - Game Six

TORONTO, ONTARIO - SEPTEMBER 03: Oskar Lindblom #23 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates after his teammate Ivan Provorov (not pictured) scored the game-winning goal against the New York Islanders during the second overtime period to give the team the 5-4 victory in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on September 03, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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Oskar Linbdlom already proved how strong he is battling cancer, but Thursday represented a stunning achievement with the Flyers. For the first time since being diagnosed with bone cancer in December (and eventually celebrating his final treatment) Lindblom played over 17 minutes as Philadelphia forced a Game 7 with a 5-4 double overtime win over the Islanders.

Lindblom didn’t get eased into his Game 6 return, either. With the Flyers hemmed in their own zone against the Islanders, his first shift back lasted an uncomfortable 1:39.

“I knew I was going to play at some point,” Lindblom said afterward. “I was lucky to be out there and be with these guys.”

Midway through the first period, players on both teams tapped their sticks in honor of his incredible return.

“This kid has so much courage,” said Flyers captain Claude Giroux. “He played unbelievable, too. It’s been a long battle. This guy’s heart, you have to see it to believe it.”

The road to Oskar Lindblom returning to Flyers for Game 6, his first game since battling cancer

Consider the unlikely timeline for Oskar Lindblom to return for the Flyers in Game 6:

“I think he’s been an inspiration for us all season,” said Carter Hart. “He gives our team a huge boost of energy. It was special to see him out there with us. Hard to describe. For him to be with us, we’re so happy.”

And now Lindblom and the Flyers are a win away from the Eastern Conference Final. Like just about every step in Lindblom’s battle with cancer, this is amazing and inspiring.

Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.