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Goalie Malcolm Subban awaits first NHL start.

Goalie Malcolm Subban awaits first NHL start.

There’s something special about brothers playing against each other in hockey.

Former Boston Bruins sniper Phil Esposito had an intense rivalry with his younger brother and fellow Hockey Hall of Famer Tony Esposito, a stingy goalie for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Carolina Hurricanes forward Eric Staal once knocked brother Marc, a member of the New York Rangers, silly with a questionable hit against the boards. And Keith and Wayne Primeau actually dropped the gloves and duked it out when Keith played for the Hartford Whalers and Wayne for the Buffalo Sabres.

Hockey fans could be in for a treat Sunday when the Montreal Canadiens play the Boston Bruins, a game scheduled to air nationally on NBCSN. If Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien decides to start rookie goaltender Malcolm Subban against defenseman P.K. Subban’s Habs, it will be one of the rare times when players of color who are related square off in an NHL regular season game.

There are no guarantees that it happens. Malcolm Subban hasn’t played a regular

Montreal's P.K. Subban.

Montreal’s P.K. Subban.

season minute in the NHL. He’s up from the American Hockey League’s Providence Bruins because Boston sent backup goalie Niklas Svedberg to its Rhode Island affiliate for a conditioning stint.

Boston has been slow and deliberate in grooming Malcolm Subban, their 2012 first-round draft pick. When asked if the rookie goaltender would get a start this weekend, Julien only told reporters “We’ll see, guys.”

Julien could give Subban his first NHL start Saturday when the Canadiens play the New York Islanders.

Malcolm Subban told reporters that he’s up for whatever, even facing P.K. and his Howitzer slapshot from the point.  “It would be pretty cool, but I’m not thinking into it too much,” he told WEEI.com Thursday. “Just trying to stay focused. Whenever the opportunity comes, hopefully I’ll be ready.”

Netminder Subban and defenseman Subban have faced each other before in a 2013 preseason game that Boston won 6-3.

“He had one (shot), it was probably the slowest shot I had all night,” Malcolm told NHL.com after that game. “A little knucklepuck on net.”

Sounds like blackboard material to me.

Minority hockey-playing brothers have skated against each other before.  Chris Stewart, then a forward for the St. Louis Blues,  and Anthony Stewart, a forward for the Hurricanes at the time, faced each other in 2011.