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Penguins having fun with Kessel's 'offense'

Add gum, mouthwash to forward's equipment prior to Game 4

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

TAMPA -- The Pittsburgh Penguins won't let Phil Kessel's "bad breath" moment pass without having a few laughs with their leading scorer in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Penguins training staff, perhaps with the help of some players, decorated Kessel's stall in the dressing room with packs of gum and a giant bottle of Listerine on Friday morning in advance of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Tweet from @penguins: For all that "bad breath"... pic.twitter.com/YDYfp7ABy1

"These guys, they don't miss much," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.

The joke goes back to Kessel's postgame interview on Wednesday with NBCSN 's Pierre McGuire, who asked the Penguins forward, "How's your breath?" McGuire meant it as a way of asking Kessel if he had caught his breath yet from the frantic pace of Game 3, but Kessel thought he was literally talking about his breath and if it smelled, so he responded, "Not good, eh?"

Video: Kunitz, Sullivan discuss locker prank on Kessel

The two had a good laugh on air about the misunderstanding, and now the Penguins are having a blast keeping the joke going with Kessel, who has 16 points in the playoffs, including four through three games against the Lightning.

"I think it brings our team even closer together, and that's an example of it," Sullivan said. "That's just another indication that our guys are really embracing this moment and embracing this challenge."

Video: Pierre McGuire shares a laugh with Phil Kessel

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