Kessel recorded a goal and an assist in Saturday's 4-3 shootout loss to Montreal. Kessel now has four goals and seven points in four games this season. He looks to be in mid-season form already.
Kessel scored three goals to go with a plus-3 rating and four shots in Thursday's 4-2 win over the Golden Knights. Kessel failed to light the lamp in his first two appearances of the season, but he made up for that and more with a hat trick by the end of the second period. He's playing above a point-per-game pace with three goals and two assists through three contests, and the veteran forward is more than capable of sustaining such a pace after finishing with 92 points in 82 games last season.
Kessel registered two assists, a power-play point and two shots during Thursday's 7-6 overtime win against the Capitals. Kessel helped open and close the scoring for the Penguins and is clicking on a line with Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin. The fifth overall pick from the 2006 NHL Entry Draft has a chance to eclipse last year's career high of 92 points if he can ride shotgun to Malkin and cash in on the top power-play unit, so keep him in your lineup regularly.
Kessel scored a pair of goals in the Penguins' 5-1 preseason victory over the Sabres on Wednesday. It was a tumultuous offseason for Kessel, who was rumored to be on the trading block because of a developing rift with coach Mike Sullivan. But Sullivan denied those reports in June, and Kessel remained in Pittsburgh. In 2017-18, he experienced his best regular season with the Penguins, posting 34 goals and a career-high 92 points. All drama aside, Kessel remains a potent fantasy producer.
Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan has denied an alleged rift with Kessel that has been publicly simmering for the last six weeks. Reports surfaced in early May that Kessel was unhappy he wasn't given enough ice time on Evgeni Malkin's line. Then just before the NHL Entry Draft, another report suggested Kessel wasn't opposed to getting traded to another club. The Coyotes were named as a desirable destination. While he and Kessel have disagreed from time to time, Sullivan was quick to say, "A lot of what's been written ... has been false. I know where my relationship is with Phil, and I certainly have a comfort level with it. I think Phil does, too." Kessel posted a career-best 92-point effort this past year and has won two Cups. But this isn't the first time that attitudinal issues have surfaced about the shy, but intense sniper.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
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