There’s a new twist on the old joke: Went to a game of tag the other night and a hockey game broke out.
The Carolina Hurricanes completed a four-game sweep of the New York Islanders with a 5-2 win on Friday night. If the Hurricanes needed any additional motivation to reach the Eastern Conference finals, Islanders center Brock Nelson handed it to them in Game 3.
On Wednesday, Nelson celebrated a goal from teammate Josh Bailey by patting Hurricanes goalie Curtis McElhinney on the head as he skated past the net. Then, behind the net, he shoved Carolina defenseman Dougie Hamilton.
Brock Nelson goes full troll…pats McElhinney’s head after the goal, shoves Dougie behind the net pic.twitter.com/6JTjYJpEQZ
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) May 2, 2019
New York trailed 3-0 in the series when Nelson tried to troll Carolina, but the spark did not catch for the Islanders. The Hurricanes won that game, 5-2, and closed out the second-round series two days later.
Hamilton did not forget the head-tap or the shove. During the center ice handshake line after Game 4, Hamilton — who played for the Boston Bruins for three seasons before he was dealt in 2015 — shook Nelson’s hand, then gave him a quick double-tap on the helmet. Nelson looked back but kept skating.
The Islanders official Twitter account had shared a clip of Nelson’s love-tap with the caption, “Tag. You’re it.” So when the Hurricanes completed the sweep, their team account posted footage of Hamilton’s payback, noting, “We won tag, too!”
We won tag, too! ? pic.twitter.com/abOTplVnlC
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) May 4, 2019
The Hurricanes move on to face the winner of the Bruins-Blue Jackets series.