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:
We never really stopped believing in ourselves. We were hearing a lot of things about our team in the regular season. Seems like we put things back together at the right time and we're back in the finals with this group. We know what we have in this room, we believe in each other, we believe in the organization and it really matter what other people say.
— Patrick Sharp after Blackhawks clinched Western Conference title with Game 7 win vs. Ducks