San Jose center Patrick Marleau passed Gordie Howe for most NHL games played last week. He is one of three players who could also break the record for most consecutive games played. John Locher/Associated Press

After Patrick Marleau passed Gordie Howe last week for the most games played in NHL history, the ironman streak of Doug Jarvis could be the next milestone to fall.

Jarvis played in a record 964 consecutive games – every game for 12 full seasons from 1975 through 1987 on three different teams while raising the Stanley Cup four times with Montreal.

Montreal’s Doug Jarvis takes a spill in front of Boston’s Dwight Foster and goalie Gilles Gilbert on May 1, 1979. Jarvis holds the record for most consecutive games played, which could soon be broken. Associated Press

Florida’s Keith Yandle, Marleau and Arizona’s Phil Kessel are all less than a full season away from passing Jarvis. Now 66 and an adviser for the Vancouver Canucks, Jarvis is rooting for his record to be broken.

“They all have a pretty good opportunity that they will bypass 964, I would think,” Jarvis said. “I’m happy for them. To be able to play in the game of hockey at the NHL level for all those years and those games and to really basically avoid injury, I think that’s tremendous.”

Yandle is the front-runner, 47 games back of Jarvis at age 34 with two seasons left on his contract. The defenseman has credited his parents for his work ethic.

“I’m lucky every day just to be playing in the NHL and calling this a job,” Yandle said in March before playing his 1,000th regular-season game. “Never really thought I’d even make it to the NHL, so it’s one of those things where I’m just kind of enjoying the ride and enjoying every minute of it.”

Marleau is 62 games behind, but he turns 42 in September and would need to play another season to have a chance. Before passing Howe’s mark of 1,767 games played, Marleau said the same thing keeps him showing up to the rink: “I just love it. There’s nothing else like it.”

Kessel is 33, won the Stanley Cup twice with Pittsburgh and has a year left on his contract. He is also producing at a high level for the Coyotes, who are in playoff contention.

“I haven’t changed anything,” Kessel said recently. “My body’s feeling better than it did last year. Whenever your body feels good, it helps a little bit.”

Jarvis is feeling good 33 years since his streak ended and he hung up his skates for good.

“I have too many colleagues that have played the game and they’re dealing with sore hips and knees and shoulders,” Jarvis said. “I’m good — really no issues. I enjoy running. I like to stay active that way. I feel very blessed.”

CANADIENS: Montreal says forward Jonathan Drouin is taking an indefinite leave of absence from the team for personal reasons. The Canadiens announced on their Twitter feed that Drouin will be placed on long-term injured reserve by the club.

“We ask everyone to respect his privacy,” the Canadiens said.

Drouin has 23 points in 44 games this season. He has missed Montreal’s past three games with a non-COVID related illness. The Canadiens, fourth in the North Division, were scheduled to host the division-leading Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

PENGUINS: Center Evgeni Malkin practiced on Wednesday, indicating he is near a return from a lower-body injury that’s kept him out since mid-March.

Malkin wore a white “no contact” jersey during Pittsburgh’s skate, but Coach Mike Sullivan said Malkin was a full participant and will travel with the Penguins when they begin a four-game trip on Thursday in Washington.

Malkin hasn’t played since March 16, though Pittsburgh has fared well without him. The Penguins are 14-5-2 during Malkin’s extended absence and are in a tight four-team race with Washington, Boston and the New York Islanders for the East Division title. The teams are separated by six points with less than two weeks left in the regular season.

Malkin has eight goals and 16 assists in 24 games this season and was playing well before getting hurt in a loss to Boston on March 16.

WEDNESDAY’S GAMES

SENATORS 6, CANUCKS 3: Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist to lead Ottawa to a win at home.

Josh Norris, Victor Mete, Chris Tierney, Thomas Chabot and Colin White also scored for Ottawa. Marcus Hogberg finished with 16 saves.

Tyler Myers, Jake Virtanen and Brandon Sutter scored for Vancouver, which needed a strong game from Thatcher Demko to keep the score from ballooning.

Ottawa outshot Vancouver 33-22.

BLUES 4, WILD 3: Robert Thomas tracked down a skipping puck and snapped it into the top of the net with 23 seconds left, capping a three-goal third-period rally as visiting St. Louis ended Minnesota’s seven-game winning streak.


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