When the puck dropped in Carolina Tuesday night, everyone’s favorite sniper broke a Penguins franchise record. Phil Kessel skated in his 320th straight game with the Penguins and passed Craig Adams for the longest games played streak in franchise history. The Pittsburgh Penguins Twitter account honored Kessel with a cool, yet informative graphic.
3️⃣2️⃣0️⃣ straight games, a franchise record.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 19, 2019
The 31-year old forward’s last missed a game with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 31, 2009. Despite the criticism Kessel received from his time in Toronto, it was only the 12th time he missed a game with the franchise. Kessel also missed significant time with Boston after being diagnosed with testicular cancer, but he only missed 11 games as a result of his fight. Kessel has played in every game with the Penguins since he was acquired during the 2015 offseason.
Besides the games played with the Penguins franchise, Kessel has dressed for 765-straight games prior to tonight. That’s the eighth-longest games played streak in NHL history. The Wisconsin native will have to wait to next season to pass Craig Ramsay for seventh place with only eight games remaining in the Penguins season after tonight. Unfortunately, Kessel will also have to wait to move further up the list as the fifth, and sixth place occupied by active players on current streaks.
Keith Yandle leads active players with 787 consecutive games played and Patrick Marleau is sixth all-time and second among current players with 778 games played.
Next season, Kessel will pass Craig Ramsay. Kessel is currently 11 games behind for seventh place all-time with 765 consecutive games played.
Despite Kessel’s struggles this season he receives love from the Penguins fanbase. Night in and night out, the fans cheer and hold their breath when he streaks down the wing in hopes of seeing one of his signature wrist shots. For a guy whose name has become synonymous with hot dogs, the streak is pretty impressive.