NEW YORK – Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle broke the NHL record on Tuesday night by playing in his 965th consecutive game.
The 35-year-old Yandle passed the previous mark set by Doug Jarvis, who played 964 straight games over his entire career from Oct. 8, 1975, to Oct. 10, 1987.
Yandle started his streak March 26, 2009, with Phoenix, and he has played 1,075 games overall with the Coyotes, New York Rangers, Florida Panthers and Flyers.
The three-time All-Star is in his first season with the Flyers and was on the ice for the opening face-off against the New York Islanders. Yandle was paired with Ivan Provorov to start the game. He played 18 shifts for 11:58 of ice time as the Flyers fell 4-3 to the Islanders.
“I don’t think it has really sunk in,” Yandle said. “I’m grateful to play one game in this league, the best league in the world, surrounded by the best players. To be a part of the NHL and the NHL family for the last 16 years is more than a dream come true.”
Yandle, a fourth-round draft pick by the Coyotes in 2005, expressed sheer appreciation for his ability to reach the milestone. His family attended the game at UBS Arena.
“The support I have had, it has meant the world to me,'' he said. “I'm very grateful.”
Islanders fans gave Yandle a polite ovation at the 7:24 of the first period, when he was recognized for his achievement. Yandle raised his stick, skated off the bench and did a quick circle as he waved to the crowd.
Arizona’s Phil Kessel is third on the list at 940 straight games and could also pass Jarvis before the end of the season.
Yandle is on a one-year deal with the Flyers and has yet to score a goal with 13 assists this season. His overall numbers place him near the bottom of NHL defensemen.
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