from Amalie Benjamin of the NHL's website,
These are four teams that don't always get the headlines and the publicity, that don't come from traditional hockey markets, that have everything to gain from the spot in which they find themselves, here in the Eastern and Western Conference Finals. Combined, the Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights have won the Stanley Cup twice, with the Hurricanes winning it in 2006 and the Stars in 1999.
They will begin the next step of trying to make some new history -- and some new fans -- when they start off the conference finals, with the Panthers and Hurricanes playing Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final on Thursday at PNC Arena in Raleigh (8 p.m. ET; TNT, CBC, TVAS, SN) and the Stars and Golden Knights playing Game 1 of the Western Conference Final on Friday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (8:30 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, CBC, TVAS, SN).
"A deeper playoff run will draw attention to the unique players that we have that you can come and enjoy watching play," Panthers coach Paul Maurice said. "What happens in these runs, it's not just about getting excited because of the spectacle of playoff hockey. You want to get the connection to the home crowd too.
"There'll be a whole bunch of people who are going to buy (Panthers forward) Sam Bennett jerseys based on what they saw. And then I can say that about a bunch of different guys."
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