Last week, in previewing the NHL’s Eastern Conference final, Carolina Hurricanes winger Nino Neiderreiter looked forward to playing against Charlie Coyle, his former Wild teammate now with the Boston Bruins.

“I’m actually pretty happy to play against him,” Niederreiter said told the Star Tribune’s Sarah McLellan, “and it’s definitely going to be a fun one.”

After Tuesday night, one might wonder if both players feel the same way.

Coyle and Niederreiter – both traded away during the season -- mixed it up a bit late in the first period of Game 3. After Niederreiter poked at the puck after Bruins goalie Tuuka Rask, Coyle took exception and a wrestling match ensued behind the Boston goal. Coyle’s helmet came off during the dust-up, and Niederreiter shot him a glare afterward. Coyle received a two-minute minor penalty for roughing.

Boston went on to win 2-1 to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.

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