PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — The Penguins helped Phil Kessel feel back at home in his return to Pittsburgh.
Kessel helped Pittsburgh to back-to-back Stanley Cup titles in 2016 and 2017 before being traded.
Kessel had 110 goals and 193 assists in four highly productive seasons with the Penguins. His lethal shot and underrated passing played a vital role in Pittsburgh’s resurgence, and his rumpled persona off the ice made the sometimes mercurial Kessel a fan favorite.
He received a rousing ovation during the first period and played 21 inspired minutes.
“You know me, I’m not the biggest for that,” Kessel said. “But like I said, it was nice of them to do that. I appreciate it.”
The Penguins also put together a tribute video for Kessel.
Thanks for the Cups, the laughs, and the thrills.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 7, 2019
“Phil got a little teary eyed,” Arizona coach Rich Tocchet said. “He had some chances, too. Right after that, he had a couple of chances. It would’ve been nice for him to score.”
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