Penguins’ Phil Kessel sets team record for consecutive games played | TribLIVE.com
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Jonathan Bombulie

RALEIGH, N.C. — Matt Cullen recently played his 1,500th NHL game, and Sidney Crosby recently recorded his 1,200th point in the league.

They know a thing or two about longevity.

As such, they’re impressed with the record teammate Phil Kessel set when he stepped on the ice Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes. By playing his 320th game in a row, he broke a tie with Craig Adams and set a Pittsburgh Penguins franchise record for most consecutive games.

“It’s a tough league, and it’s a fast game. It says a lot,” Cullen said. “He loves the game. We all love him a lot, obviously. It’s pretty cool. I know he’ll downplay it, but it’s a big deal.”

Overall, Kessel has played 766 consecutive games, putting together the eighth-longest ironman streak in NHL history. He hasn’t missed a game since sitting out the first 12 games of 2009-10 after offseason shoulder surgery.

“It’s difficult,” Crosby said. “It means you’ve played for a long time but also you’ve been durable. He’s a great example of it.”

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