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Eric Staal debuts for Rangers against Blue Jackets

Former Hurricanes captain joins brother Marc in New York @NHLdotcom

BLUE JACKETS (26-29-8) at RANGERS (36-20-6)

TV: 7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN-E, SN-O, MSG, NHL.TV

Eric Staal will make his New York Rangers debut centering a line with Oscar Lindberg and Viktor Stalberg against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden on Monday.

Staal, who was acquired on Sunday from the Carolina Hurricanes in a trade for second-round draft picks in 2016 and 2017 and forward prospect Aleksi Saarela, waived his no-trade clause to come to New York.

"I have a ton of emotion right now because I started my career in Carolina, won a Stanley Cup there (2006), but at the same time this is where I want to be and I was excited to get the opportunity to be here and having my brother here (Rangers defenseman Marc Staal) is an extra benefit," Staal said after the morning skate Monday. "But even if he wasn't here, this is still a great spot for me at this moment in my career."

Staal can play left wing and center, and coach Alain Vignealt will start him at center. Derick Brassard and Derek Stepan and the centers on New York's top two lines.

"I do envision [Staal] playing in the middle, but the fact that he can play the middle and the left side bodes well for our team; it's a big bonus," Vigneault said. "It gives me more options and we're definitely going to use those options moving forward."

Staal had 33 points in 63 games with Carolina this season. Monday will be the first time he and his brother Marc Staal have been on the same team at any level of organized hockey.

They will face a Blue Jackets team coached by John Tortorella, who coached the Rangers from 2009-2013.

"I enjoyed [being in New York]; it's an interesting part of the business for me," Tortorella said. "But I was taking it day-by-day. But again, I get another (NHL coaching) opportunity, I'm trying to do the best I can, with my staff, for us to improve as a team, and get into position where we're hunting for playoffs. It's day by day in our business, and we just keep on going about it."

Here are the projected lineups:


Boone Jenner - Brandon Dubinsky - Cam Atkinson  

Scott Hartnell - Alexander Wennberg - Brandon Saad  

Matt Calvert - William Karlsson - Nick Foligno  

David Clarkson - Gregory Campbell - Jared Boll  

Ryan Murray - Seth Jones  

Fedor Tyutin - Dalton Prout

David Savard - Cody Goloubef  

Joonas Korpisalo

Curtis McElhinney

Injured: Sergei Bobrovsky (groin)

Scratched: Rene Bourque


J.T. Miller - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello

Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Kevin Hayes

Oscar Lindberg - Eric Staal - Viktor Stalberg

Tanner Glass - Dominic Moore - Dylan McIlrath

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi

Marc Staal - Dan Boyle

Keith Yandle - Kevin Klein

Antti Raanta

Henrik Lundqvist

Injured: Rick Nash (lower body)

Scratched: Jesper Fast (illness)

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