SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)Phil Kessel got his milestone night off to a perfect start and his Vegas teammates finished the job.
It all added up a memorable night for the NHL’s new Ironman capped by his new teammates chanting his name in a celebratory locker room.
Kessel celebrated his NHL Ironman record by scoring his 400th career goal and the Golden Knights beat the San Jose Sharks 4-2 on Tuesday night.
”I was happy to get it,” Kessel said. ”It was a special night. I’m glad to get the win.”
Kessel broke the record set by Keith Yandle last season when he got the start in his 990th consecutive game since taking the ice for Toronto on Nov. 3, 2009.
He wasn’t done there, getting the first goal of the game to add to his milestone night. He took a pass in transition from Brett Howden and beat James Reimer up high to become the 12th American-born player to score 400 goals.
”It was just pure happiness from everyone,” teammate William Karlsson said. ”Everyone was just cheering and howling. It was really good to see it go in.”
Kessel nearly reached that mark on Monday before an offsides challenge wiped off his goal against Toronto. There was no question this time.
The Golden Knights made sure it was a celebratory night with goals from Shea Theodore, William Karlsson and Mark Stone in the third period to get the win.
Adin Hill made 29 saves in his first game against San Jose since being traded to Vegas this summer.
”I think all the boys wanted to rally behind him,” Hill said. ”We didn’t have the second period that we wanted to have, and then we kind of had a little talk in the locker room and just kind of a gut check. I thought we responded in the third period and the results showed.”
The Sharks got goals from Nico Sturm and Matt Nieto in the second period but still lost their eighth straight home game to the Golden Knights. San Jose last won at the Shark Tank against Vegas in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs in 2019, when they rallied from three goals down before winning in overtime.
Reimer made 27 saves for San Jose.
”Today, like so many games this season already, I feel like we’re playing a good opponent and we’re shooting ourselves in the foot in a game that was absolutely winnable,” Sturm said. ”Today was winnable.”
The Golden Knights tied it in the opening minute of the third period when Theodore’s wrist shot from the point went through traffic and beat Reimer.
William Karlsson then deked Erik Karlsson to go in alone on Reimer for the go-ahead goal with 6:47 to play.
Stone added the insurance goal 1:02 later.
Yandle had a short run as the NHL’s Ironman, holding a share of the mark for 272 days since tying Doug Jarvis’ record of 964 consecutive games on Jan. 24.
Jarvis had sole possession of the record for 12,813 days since setting the mark on Dec. 26, 1984.
The Sharks played a video from Yandle congratulating Kessel during a break in the first period, drawing a warm ovation from the crowd of 12,003.
”It was nice,” he said. ”I appreciate it. They don’t have to do that. But I appreciate it out of them.”
Sharks F Nick Bonino (upper body) missed his second straight game and is day to day. … There is no timeline for the return of San Jose D Markus Nutivaara, who has been out since training camp with a lower-body injury.
Golden Knights: Host Anaheim on Friday night.
Sharks: Host Toronto on Thursday night.
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