SAN JOSE, Calif. — Phil Kessel started his milestone night perfectly, scoring his first goal as a member of the Golden Knights. And it continued Tuesday with a 4-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks as Kessel played in his 990th straight game, surpassing Keith Yandle as owner of the league’s ironman record.
The memorable night ended with his new teammates chanting his name in a celebratory locker room.
“I was happy to get it,” Kessel said. “It was a special night. I’m glad to get the win.”
Kessel broke Yandle’s mark set last season. His 990-game streak started Nov. 3, 2009, with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His goal came on a break in at 15:51 of the first period, when he took Brett Howden’s pass, motored past Sharks defenseman Matt Benning and then beat goaltender James Reimer into the top corner. He became the 12th American-born player to score 400 goals.
“It was just pure happiness from everyone,” said William Karlsson, who also scored for the Knights. “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.
In addition to Kessel and Shea Theodore, Karlsson and Mark Stone also scored for the Knights (6-2), winners in a back-to-back contest.
Theodore, Karlsson and Stone scored in the third period as the Knights rallied from a 2-1 deficit.
Adin Hill made 29 saves in his first game against San Jose since being traded to the Knights in the offseason.
“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.