Oskar Lindblom was the man of the hour after the Philadelphia Flyers’ win on Thursday night. He scored two goals in his return to the lineup, including the game-winner with 2:22 left in the game.
Lindblom was on a new line in his return to the lineup as well. He’s bounced around a bit this season, but he may have finally found a home. He, Claude Giroux, and Travis Konecny came together for a tremendous performance against the Islanders.
The Flyers and Islanders were scoreless through one period of play. Lindblom got the Flyers on the board early in the second period. He went to the dirty area in front of the net, found the puck, and slid it home.
Lindblom scored two goals and helped create another. His work along the boards won a battle to set up Claude Giroux’s deflection goal on Nate Prosser‘s shot.
“He was great,” Giroux said of Lindblom. “He’s a pretty smart player, so when you have a player that’s always in position it makes your job a lot easier. He helped our team a lot tonight.”
Carter Hart was solid in net for the Flyers. A few unfortunate defensive breakdowns resulted in point-blank goals for the Islanders, along with a shot that ramped up off of a defenseman’s stick. Once the Islanders tied the game, they had all of the momentum.
Lindblom’s second goal took it all back.
Everyone loves Oskar Lindblom
“That was huge,” Hart said of Lindblom’s game-winning goal. “They come back in a game, and Oskar not playing last game and then coming back today with two tucks, that’s huge. That shows how resilient he is, his character, his commitment to the game. He’s a great player. He’s been through a lot the last year and a bit and we’re really lucky to have him on our team.”
Head coach Alain Vigneault spoke glowingly of Lindblom’s play.
“I was extremely pleased at how he played tonight,” Vigneault said. “Not just the fact that he was able to finish and got us the winning goal, but he was strong on pucks, he looked good tonight, he was skating.”
Oskar Lindblom was a healthy scratch on Wednesday night in New York. It provided him with a mental and physical break. That may have been the reset that he needed.
“Hopefully, that’s the start of something real positive for him and our team,” Vigneault continued. “He’s such a good player when he’s on top of his game that maybe that little break just got him the mental and physical help that he needed and he came up big for us tonight.”
Oskar taking it one game at a time
Lindblom was the player of the game for the Flyers, but the humble Swede knows that it was just one game. After being a healthy scratch on Wednesday, he isn’t taking anything for granted.
“You want to play every game, but sometimes you can’t,” Lindblom said. “I played great today but it’s going to be a lot of games coming up here so I have to keep doing that, can’t just be one game.”
Hopefully, Lindblom can build off of this game. It looks like he might be able to with Claude Giroux and Travis Konecny by his side.
The trio was the best line on the ice on Long Island. In 8:55 of 5-on-5 play with that line on the ice, the Flyers dominated: 19-3 shot attempts (86.36 CF%), 11-2 shots on goal, 12-3 scoring chances, 0.99-0.21 xGF (82.82%).
“When I have G and TK helping me out with pucks down there it’s going to be easy for me, too. As long as I can give them pucks and help them make plays, too. That’s my game and I have to do it every night.”
If Oskar Lindblom can do it every night –– or even something close to his performance on Thursday night ––, the Flyers are going to be in good shape. Lindblom personified the team’s effort against the Islanders to close out the first half of the season.
The Flyers are 15-10-3 for 33 points through 28 games. They are three points behind the Bruins for fourth place in the East Division, and four points behind the Penguins with two games in hand.