Coyotes' Kessel keeps iron man streak alive before birth of first child

Arizona Coyotes forward Phil Kessel. (Larry MacDougal/CP)

The birth of your first child is an event every parent dreams about. But for Arizona Coyotes forward Phil Kessel, that special moment coming during the middle of a road trip nearly derailed his historic iron man streak.

Luckily for Kessel, his team stepped up in a big way to help him out.

Kessel skated one shift — 30 seconds in total — in the Coyotes' game against the Red Wings in Detroit Tuesday. He then left the game to head to the airport where the team had set up a charter flight so he could return to Phoenix and not miss the birth of his child.

According to Craig Morgan of, Kessel is expected to be back in the lineup against his old team — the Toronto Maple Leafs — at Scotiabank Arena Thursday.

By skating that one shift, Kessel was able to keep his iron man streak alive at 956 games. It is the third-longest consecutive game streak in NHL history and he now is only eight games behind Doug Jarvis, who with 964 held the record for more than 24 years before Keith Yandle broke it in January. Yandle — who has still not missed a game and was in the lineup for the Flyers Tuesday night — remains 22 games ahead of Kessel with 978.

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