Three Staal brothers start on same line for Hurricanes
Jared Staal not only made his NHL debut on the same team as two of his brothers Thursday, he started for the Carolina Hurricanes on the same forward line as Eric and Jordan.
"You're not going to see three brothers start a game together, so it was fun," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller told the team's website. "I think the fans enjoyed it, the players on the team thought it was fun, and, of course, the Staal family.
"That's something they're going to remember the rest of their lives. We're in the NHL but we have to remember it's just a game sometimes and it's about living the moment. Stuff like that they'll remember the rest of their lives."
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Facing the New York Rangers at PNC Arena, the trio became the fourth set of three brothers to play a game for the same NHL team -- and the first since Peter, Anton and Marian Stastny for the Quebec Nordiques in 1985. It is the 10th time three brothers played for the same team in the same season in North American major pro sports history, according to STATS.
Jared took a 24-second first shift with his brothers before finishing with 12:15 of ice time. He finished with five hits and one shot on goal.
"The biggest thing was just to stay loose and have fun," Jared said. "Eric was kind of joking around with 'Score some goals.' Just keep your feet moving and play it simple, get pucks in, get pucks out."
Jared, 22, followed 28-year-old Eric and 24-year-old Jordan into the League -- as well as 26-year-old Marc, a defenseman for the Rangers who is sidelined by an eye injury.
"They're three big boys, they just love to play, they're a great family," Muller said of his Staals. "It was a real treat to see them interact and enjoy the moment."
The debut showed Jared there could be more NHL games in his future.
"[You] realize that you're not that far off," Jared said. "I felt pretty comfortable out there. The Rangers are a good team, and I didn't feel that out of place, so that was the big thing."
The Rangers won 4-3 on an overtime goal by Ryan Callahan that clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Staals' father, Henry, traveled from playing in an international hockey tournament in Tampa, Fla., to make the game, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.
"It's nerve-wracking," Henry told the newspaper beforehand. "You just want [Jared] to play well. Just get some shifts, play well and enjoy well. It's a big opportunity for him and I think he realizes it's not the end-all and he has a lot of work to do. But I think it's going to help him. It's pretty exciting."
Only Marc's participation would have made it any better. He hasn't played since he was hit near the eye by a puck during a game March 5.
"I told him it's a little frustrating," Marc said. "But I'm excited he got the opportunity. It's cool."