The Carolina Hurricanes called on some locals to help their home ice advantage Tuesday.
Carolina Panthers Luke Kuechly and Christian McCaffrey, along with former University of North Carolina basketball and NBA star Rasheed Wallace cranked the storm siren at Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final between Carolina and the Boston Bruins.
Kuechly and McCaffrey were two of a slew of Panthers players who attended Carolina's first home game of the conference final. Kuechly aggressively cranked the siren before the game, firing up the already-raucous crowd at PNC Arena. He was mic'd up for the moment and Panthers tight end Greg Olsen chimed in on McCaffrey's form.
"I had goosebumps when I was up there," Kuechly told NBCSN. "When a crowd is excited and has this much energy, you wouldn't believe how much of an impact it has on the ice. It has an impact on the home team and for the away team, just knowing you're in a hostile environment and not only do you have to play against the guys on the ice but you've got to play against the crowd as well."
Julius Peppers, the longtime Panthers linebacker, even got to meet Hamilton the Pig, Carolina's de facto alternate mascot for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Panthers followed their coach Ron Rivera's lead. He cranked the siren at Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the New York Islanders. McCaffrey, a Castle Rock, Colorado native, may have been attending his first Hurricanes game, but he understands the fellowship between the Carolina pro sports teams.
"It makes it special," McCaffrey told NBCSN. "We feel that same support when we play, guys from different teams coming to support us, so it's a lot of fun when we can give it back and support these guys who are out here trying to make a huge run, which I know they can do."