Knights’ Kessel sets NHL Ironman record and scores 400th goal

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Vegas Golden Knights forward Phil Kessel doesn’t like attention.

Either way, the 17-year-old veteran found himself in the NHL spotlight on Tuesday night.

After tying defenseman Keith Yandle’s record for consecutive games played Monday against Toronto, Kessel broke the mark Tuesday night when he appeared in the Knights’ game at San Jose for his 990th straight game played.

“That’s a cool thing, that means I’ve played a lot of games, right?” Kessel said Monday. “It’s okay. Obviously I have to win a few cups, so I guess it’s better than that. But tomorrow will be another fun game and I hope to get a W.”

Kessel celebrated his landmark night by scoring his first goal since joining Vegas this season and the 400th of his career.

The goal came after the Sharks honored Kessel’s Ironman record by releasing a video of Yandle congratulating Kessel during a first-half break.

The two-time Stanley Cup champion said he would be happy to put the milestone in the rearview mirror and focus on the season, which he hopes will include a return to the playoffs after neither he nor the Arizona Coyotes nor the Golden Knights made the playoffs last year.

Kessel, who has 400 goals and 559 assists, has played 1,212 career games with Boston, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Arizona and Las Vegas.

He became the 12th American-born player to score 400 NHL goals. He came close to getting that goal on Monday, but a challenge from Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe canceled out a potential goal minutes into the game after teammate William Karlsson was ruled offside.

Kessel acknowledged that there were a few days when he thought the streak would end, but he went through numerous injuries and endured pain while cherishing his time with all five teams, including his first few months with the Goldens. Knights.

“Nobody’s ever 100 per cent in this league. People think they are, there’s just no way,” he said. “You always have bumps and bruises and cuts and you don’t feel well. You just go on.

“I have great experiences (with) every city, they’re all different. I love to play. I love to go out there and compete and play the games. Obviously it’s been a long time. It’s always fun for me. I loved playing in the NHL for those 17 years and I hope I can continue.”

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