"The only time that we've skated together competitively was in training camp here in Jersey, but there is a first time for everything. When he was here I was hoping to get into a game with him, but now that he's moved on the next best thing is playing against him and hopefully it'll be a good one tonight."
-- Stephen Gionta
never doubted he was going to return to the lineup Thursday for the first time in nine games, but he still needed coach
wasn't so sure if he would be in, but he was hoping MacLean would point in his direction Thursday.
He did, so Langenbrunner and Gionta will play for New Jersey against Montreal at Prudential Center (7 p.m. ET, RDS), and the Devils, winners of three of their last four games, hope to get a jump from both players for completely different reasons.
Thursday's game will mark the first time Gionta will square off against his brother, Canadiens captain
, in any organized hockey game. Brian is four years older and far more accomplished in the NHL, but Stephen, who was called up by the Devils on Nov. 4, has earned his spot in the lineup.