A huge weekend offensively for Phil Kessel
earned him the NHL’s ‘Third Star’ of the week, it was announced by the NHL today.
This is the second-consecutive week that a Penguins player has been honored by the league. Sidney Crosby was ‘First Star’ for the week ending March 20.
Kessel tied fellow American Zach Parise of the Minnesota Wild for the NHL lead in scoring last week with seven points (2G-5A) in just three games. Kessel’s five assists were tied with Tampa Bay’s Ondrej Palat for most in the league.
On Saturday afternoon in Detroit, Kessel had a career day, scoring once and adding four assists to establish a single-game career high with five points. He was one of two Penguins to tally five points, as linemate Nick Bonino also had five points.
Kessel picked up his 300th NHL assist against the Wings when he had the primary assist on Kris Letang’s goal that gave the Penguins the lead for good in an eventual 7-2 victory. Later, Kessel’s goal that made the score 4-1 was his 50th point of the season, the eighth-straight year he’s hit that mark.
Sunday night on Broadway, Kessel was just as impactful in Pittsburgh’s 3-2 overtime win against the Rangers, scoring the tying goal then helping set up Sidney Crosby’s game-winning goal with 30 seconds left in OT. Kessel led the Penguins with five shots and three takeaways against New York.
This season, Kessel ranks fourth in scoring on Pittsburgh with 23 goals, 31 assists and 54 points in 75 games. He is one of just three Penguins players (Patric Hornqvist and Matt Cullen) to play every game thus far.
Pittsburgh heads into its Tuesday night home game with Buffalo having won eight of its past nine games and leading the NHL in both wins (10) and goals (48) during the month of March.
Tuesday’s game between the Penguins and Sabres begins at 7 p.m. at CONSOL Energy Center and it will be televised on ROOT SPORTS and can be heard on the club’s official flagship station, 105.9 The X.