Phil Kessel extends ironman streak with one shift, leaves to attend birth of child

phil kessel
Jan 25, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Arizona Coyotes right wing Phil Kessel (72) against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Coyotes forward Phil Kessel kept his ironman streak alive Tuesday before leaving the team mid-game to attend the birth of his child.

Kessel extended his consecutive games streak to 956 by playing one 30-second shift in the first period of a road game against the Detroit Red Wings. After that, he hit the dressing room, got changed and flew home.

Phil Kessel takes a shift and heads home

Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo arranged a charter flight for Kessel to make it back to the Phoenix area to be with his expecting wife, multiple reports said.

Earlier this season, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle broke the NHL consecutive games played record held by Doug Jarvis. Yandle played in his 978th straight game Tuesday.

Kessel is approaching Jarvis’ mark of 964. Following the birth of his child, Kessel is expected to rejoin the Coyotes in time for their next game Thursday at the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The 34-year-old is in his first season with Arizona following stints with the Boston Bruins (2006-09), Maple Leafs (2009-15) and Pittsburgh Penguins (2015-19). In 56 games this season, Kessel has tallied 34 points (six goals, 28 assists).

–Field Level Media