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Flyers’ Patrick scores in 1st game since April ’19

Philadelphia Flyers center Nolan Patrick scored a goal on Wednesday in the first period of his first NHL game in 652 days.

The No. 2 pick of the 2017 draft missed all of last season as he dealt with a debilitating migraine disorder and hadn’t played since April 2, 2019. Patrick’s goal, on the power play, gave Philadelphia a 2-1 lead against the Pittsburgh Penguins on the NHL’s opening night.

Patrick’s absence was a lingering storyline for the Flyers last season. General manager Chuck Fletcher said last January that Patrick was progressing, and Philadelphia was hopeful Patrick would join the team for the playoff push — and then again when the season resumed over the summer in the Toronto bubble. However Patrick wasn’t cleared for contact until training camp opened this month.

Patrick, 22, has 26 goals and 61 points in his first two seasons, and is expected to be a huge asset as the third-line center, behind Sean Couturier and Kevin Hayes.

Patrick hasn’t divulged much about his recovery. “I’m not going to get into too much details about how my head feels,” Patrick told reporters at training camp. “Going to see how camp goes and go from there.”

The Flyers also welcomed Oskar Lindblom back to the lineup on Wednesday. Lindblom, 24, was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer in December 2019 and missed the rest of the season as he underwent treatment at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Lindblom finished his final chemotherapy treatment in July.

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