Phil Kessel tied the NHL record by playing his 989th consecutive game in the Vegas Golden Knights’ 3-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at T-Mobile Arena on Monday.
Kessel is tied with Keith Yandle and can pass him when he plays his first shift for the Golden Knights at the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.
“I’ve played a lot of games, and you always want to win,” Kessel said. “It’s better when you win and if we can do it tomorrow, it’d be great. … I always want to play. There’s games you’re going to miss throughout your career, but I’ve been fortunate so far.”
Chandler Stephenson scored for the third straight game, and Logan Thompson made 22 saves for Vegas (5-2-0).
“It’s five good periods of the six we played,” Stephenson said. “We gave ourselves a chance to win. It was just bearing down on our chances. It’s just kind of showing our resiliency and that ‘we’re not going to lose this one or let this one slip’ kind of mentality. It’s what we want to have and it’s what we had tonight.”
William Nylander scored for Toronto (4-3-0), which won its previous two games. Ilya Samsonov made 30 saves.
The Maple Leafs were outshot 24-13 over the final two periods.
“We just got beat by a team that was better than us tonight in all facets,” coach Sheldon Keefe said.
Nicolas Roy gave the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 3:51 of the first period when he knocked in a rebound of Reilly Smith’s chance from the left face-off circle. Kessel had the secondary assist.
It came after Kessel had what would have been his 400th NHL goal overturned at 3:16 when video review determined Vegas forward William Karlsson entered the zone offside.
“It is what it is,” Kessel said. “We scored right after, and that’s all that counts.
” … We got a lot of chances tonight; there [were] a ton of chances, actually. Obviously, a couple went in, and we got it done.”
Nylander tied it 1-1 when he took a pass from John Tavares and beat Thompson with a low wrist shot from the edge of the right circle at 11:42 of the second period.
Stephenson put the Golden Knights back in front 42 seconds into the third period when he jammed a loose puck in front past Samsonov to make it 2-1.
It was the first full game Stephenson played alongside new linemates Mark Stone and Jack Eichel. The three were put together in the third period of a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.
“It’s two superstars there,” Stephenson said. “‘Stoney’ can find anybody, and Jack is probably the most explosive guy in the League, so you’ve just got to lay it to areas for them and you get some pucks. Their names say it all there with the types of players they are and we’re building on the chemistry.”
Michael Amadio scored on a wrist shot from between the circles at 8:11 for the 3-1 final.
“Everybody did their part,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Everybody played really well. Whether it was the line combinations, or players 1 through 20 being on tonight. We’ll see how they do tomorrow and the rest of week.”
How the lines look for your Buds tonight 👇 pic.twitter.com/m7ZaiqpNEi
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 25, 2022