This was a victory greater than the magnitude of Game 6.
Oskar Lindblom was back.
He was back after having his world turned upside down in mid-December with a diagnosis of Ewing’s sarcoma, back after an inspirational fight that culminated with the completion of his radiation treatments in July.
Lindblom, a Swedish native with a radiant smile, made the entire Delaware Valley and hockey world smile Thursday night. The 24-year-old capped his remarkable comeback as he joined the Flyers' lineup for the team's Game 6 of its best-of-seven second-round playoff series against the Islanders at Scotiabank Arena.
His return comes a little shy of nine months since the news of his stunning diagnosis.
Lindblom, who has been deemed without evidence of cancer, last played an NHL game on Dec. 7.
The Flyers won Game 6, 5-4, in double overtime (see observations).
As the Flyers were planning on having Lindblom join them in the Toronto bubble, team officials did not want to put any limits on No. 23 in regard to the possibility of the exciting winger appearing in a game.
We now see why.
"Osky, if he is going to be joining us back here, what it’s going to take for him to be even close to playing or practicing or whatever that may be, the work ethic he’s going to have to put in is a lot," Travis Konecny said in August. "For him to be able to commit to that, I mean, it makes our job seem like nothing. We have to go out and play hockey. Think about Osky, how hard he’s working just to come back and hopefully play one game — it definitely motivates us to do the work for him and make all the hard work he’s going to try to put in worth the time."
It was worth everything on the night of Sept. 3, 2020.
Lindblom's return was timely for the Flyers, too, as the club was missing Sean Couturier and Joel Farabee, two forwards who were out with undisclosed injuries.
Before his diagnosis, Lindblom was tied for the team lead in goals with 11 and was projected to finish with 30.
“Our organization believes wholeheartedly in Oskar, our players believe in him, [head coach Alain Vigneault] and our coaching staff believe in him and I believe in him," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said after the team re-signed Lindblom in July to a new three-year contract.
On Thursday, everyone watched Lindblom play in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.