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Ironman Phil Kessel set to play for Penguins against Devils

Jonathan Bombulie
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Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Phil Kessel (81) and right wing Phil Kessel (81) talk during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, in New York. The Islanders won 3-2.

As if there was any doubt, winger Phil Kessel is expected to be in the lineup when the Pittsburgh Penguins play host to the New Jersey Devils on Monday night at PPG Paints Arena.

Kessel limped down the runway for a brief stop in the locker room during Saturday’s 5-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, then sat out Sunday’s practice as a maintenance day.

Coach Mike Sullivan said after morning skate Monday that Kessel would be available to play against the Devils.

Kessel is off to a strong start to the season, recording seven goals and 16 points in 12 games.

He has played in 704 consecutive games, the third-longest active streak in the NHL behind Florida’s Keith Yandle (726) and Toronto’s Patrick Marleau (720). It’s the ninth-longest ironman streak in league history.

“It’s an indication of his toughness, his willingness to play injured, his compete level, all of those things,” Sullivan said. “I’m sure it’s important to him. I haven’t had a conversation with him about it, but I’m sure if you asked him, it’s something he prides himself in.”

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Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan at [email protected] or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.

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