The Carolina Hurricanes came home for a Stanley Cup Playoff party Wednesday.
Rapper Petey Pablo, Hamilton the Pig and thousands of other Hurricanes fans were part of the raucous atmosphere at PNC Arena for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the New York Islanders.
Video: NYI@CAR, Gm3: Petey Pablo sounds the siren in Raleigh
The Hurricanes, playing their first home game in more than a week, were firing up their fans even before they dropped the puck. Their Stanley Cup Playoff towel giveaway said "Bunch of Jerks" on it with a few of the players doing the Skol clap. A witty towel distributor also left rags off enough seats to spell out "Jerks."
Pablo, the Snow Hill, North Carolina native whose hit single "Raise Up" serves as Carolina's goal song, revved up the crowd by cranking the siren before the game. Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte Graham and former Carolina forward Chad LaRose also took a turn at the crank before the second and third periods.
Hamilton, the team's Very Important Pig, was back on the red carpet posing for pictures with fans and serving as Carolina's good-luck charm. He spent much of the game with his fellow swine, Hurricanes mascot Stormy, who fed Hamilton a carrot during a break in play. Stormy also debuted his new wagon, a match to Hamilton's preferred mode of transportation.
The incredible environment paid off too. The loud and rowdy crowd helped the Hurricanes to a 5-2 win that pushed them to a 3-0 series lead and within one win of the Eastern Conference Final, and Carolina expressed its appreciation after the game.
"I've been around a little while, and I don't think I've seen a building as loud as it was tonight," goalie Curtis McElhinney told FOX Sports Carolinas. "My ears are still ringing. It's fun to play in front of a crowd like that."
The high energy even carried over with the team after the game as forward Jordan Martinook chronicled the scene.