RALEIGH, N.C. -- Thursday's game between the Rangers and Hurricanes will be the first time Hurricanes forward Eric Staal and his brother, Rangers defensemen Marc Staal, have played against each other since Eric's big hit put Marc out of the lineup last February with a concussion.
"I enjoy competing against him," said Eric. "I enjoy the fact that I'm playing a game I love and he is, too. He wasn't (playing) last time (in New York), so that was difficult for me."
Then Staal quickly added with a laugh, "And the fact that I got booed every time I touched (the puck) -- that was different. It will be good to put this game behind us and focus on our teams."
Here is what the Hurricanes' lineup likely will look like tonight:
It's not just going to happen on its own. We have to have guys commit to the areas we need to improve on. We're going to be better than last year but there is still a long way to go. But I really like the pieces and where we're headed.
— Sabres forward Tyler Ennis on the progress of Buffalo's rebuilding process