* For the third time in as many seasons, an NHL games played record has fallen. This time it was Phil Kessel skating in his 990th consecutive game, establishing the longest “Ironman” streak in League history.
* Phil Kessel’s milestone evening, taking place in the same arena in which he won the first Stanley Cup of his career (2016 w/ PIT), also included becoming the 12th U.S.-born player in NHL history to reach the 400-goal mark.
* Marc-Andre Fleury returned to his home province to play his 944th career game and passed Curtis Joseph for sole possession of sixth place on the League’s all-time list among goaltenders.
PHIL KESSEL BECOMES “IRONMAN” AND JOINS 400-GOAL CLUB
There’s a new NHL “Ironman” and his name is Phil Kessel. The two-time Stanley Cup champion also became the League’s newest member of the 400-goal club, opening the scoring in his record-setting contest with his first tally in a Golden Knights uniform – one night after having what looked like his milestone goal called back following a coach’s challenge.
* Kessel played in his 990th consecutive regular-season game Tuesday to surpass Keith Yandle (989 GP) for sole possession of the longest consecutive games played streak in NHL history. Kessel is now 10 games shy of becoming the first to play 1,000 consecutive regular-season contests – a mark he would hit Nov. 17 at home against Arizona, his former club.
* This marks the third consecutive season that at least one NHL games played record has fallen. In 2020-21, Patrick Marleau set the all-time games played benchmark and in 2021-22, Zdeno Chara took sole possession of the most games by a defenseman shortly after Yandle passed longtime NHL “Ironman” Doug Jarvis for that record.
* Kessel notched his milestone goal against James Reimer, who ranks among the top five for most games as Kessel’s teammate during his streak. A few of our favorite #NHLStats from the all-Kessel Stats Pack:
1,071–Consecutive games played by Kessel, including playoffs, during his streak including regular-season contest No. 990.
833 – Points accumulated by Kessel during his streak (including Tuesday’s game), which ranks among the top 10 in the NHL over that span. The list includes his former Penguins teammates Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and is topped by Patrick Kane, who represented the United States alongside Kessel at Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014.
472 – Wins by Kessel’s teams during his streak (including Tuesday’s game).
334 – Goals scored by Kessel during his streak (including Tuesday’s game), trailing only seven players for the most in the NHL over that span.
49 – Regular-season games that Kessel has played against former Senators captain Erik Karlsson during his streak – including game No. 990 against the Sharks Tuesday.
9 – Percentage of current NHL players who were in the League when Kessel’s streak began.
FLEURY CLIMBS NHL’S ALL-TIME LIST IN HOME PROVINCE
While appearing in his 944th career game, Marc-Andre Fleury (Sorel, Que.) stopped 26 of 27 shots – which also included his 22nd career save in a penalty-shot attempt – and improved to 11-6-3 (2.70 GAA, .910 SV%, 2 SO) in Montreal in his career. Fleury’s milestone outing moved him past Curtis Joseph (943 GP) for sole possession of sixth place on the NHL’s all-time list.
* Fleury, who allowed one goal or fewer in a road game against the Canadiens for the sixth time, faced his 28th career penalty-shot attempt. His 22 saves and 28 all-time attempts trail only Roberto Luongo (33 PS SA, 29 PS saves) for the most among all goaltenders in both categories.
BRATT HELPS DEVILS HAND RED WINGS FIRST REGULATION LOSS OF SEASON
The 2022-23 regular season eclipsed the 100-game mark Tuesday, with the Red Wings becoming the 32nd and final team to suffer a regulation loss. New Jersey came out victorious as Jesper Bratt contributed 2-1—3 to move into a share of the League lead with 12 points. Bratt is the third player in franchise history with as many points at this stage of a Devils season (7 GP), following Patrik Elias (13 in 2001-02) and John MacLean (12 in 1988-89).
GEORGIEV’S WIN AGAINST FORMER CLUB FEATURED IN #NHLSTATS: LIVE UPDATES
The Tuesday edition of #NHLStats: Live Updates featured a goaltending battle between former Rangers teammates Alexandar Georgiev (44 saves w/ COL) and Igor Shesterkin (42 saves w/ NYR), with the former improving to 4-0-1 in 2022-23 and handing the latter his first regular-season defeat in a game where he made 40 or more saves (10-0-1). Only one goaltender has posted a longer point streak to start his tenure with the Avalanche/Nordiques franchise: Dan Bouchard (6-0-0 from Jan. 31 – Feb. 13, 1981).
“BATTLE OF NEW YORK” LEADS OFF TNT DOUBLEHEADER
Former Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will be in the TNT studio for their doubleheader tonight which opens with the Rangers visiting the Islanders – the first of three “Battle of New York” showdowns this season – before the Lightning visit the Ducks.
* Islanders captain Anders Lee will aim to lead his team past the intra-state rival Rangers when the clubs open their three-game season series at UBS Arena. His journey to the NHL is the most recent feature in the Not One Path series, highlighting unconventional paths, and one that could have landed him in a different professional league entirely. For Lee, his road to the NHL involved being an elite tri-sport athlete that received multiple Division 1 scholarships in football before he chose to pursue hockey – a decision Islanders fans continue to benefit from 13 years after the club drafted him (152nd overall in 2009).
* Lightning forward Corey Perry will face off against the Ducks for the fourth time (0-1—1) – the club with whom he played the first 14 years of his career after being drafted by them with the No. 28 pick in 2003. Perry remains second on Anaheim’s all-time goals list (372) and third in points (776).
* On Sportsnet, the Blues will look to stymy the Oilers for the second time in five days following a 2-0 shutout Saturday in Edmonton. Jordan Binnington, who made 23 saves in that contest, can become the sixth goaltender to record multiple shutouts against an Oilers lineup that featured both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl – only Mike Smith, Jonathan Quick, Connor Hellebuyck, Antti Raanta and Juuse Saros have done so to date (all w/ 2).