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Metallica will play national anthem at Game 4 of Stanley Cup Final

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The San Jose Sharks will have some very special guests in attendance at SAP Center for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night, as it has been announced that Bay Area icons Metallica will be on hand to perform the national anthem as well as take part in some pregame traditions before the puck drops.

The Sharks and NHL PR both confirmed that Metallica lead singer/guitarist James Hetfield and guitarist Kirk Hammett will perform “The Star Spangled Banner.”

The band’s official website previously made note of the band’s fondness for the Sharks (by way of Pro Hockey Talk):

“We have been long supporters of the Sharks going back to the mid-90’s when the team moved permanently to San Jose… over the years we’ve made many treks down to the Shark Tank. So it’s actually pretty fitting that we finally connect with the team for a night of metal and hockey and we want you to come along and partake of the festivities with us.

“We’ll be on hand for the first strains of ‘Seek & Destroy,’ kick off the game with the puck drop, and partake in some of the intermission fun and games that Sharks fans know and love.”

As noted in Metallica’s statement, the team and the iconic metal band have enjoyed a long history of mutual admiration.

Hetfield previously took part in a playoff tradition where a local celebrity opens the bench door for Sharks players as they take ice, playing the honored role during Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. The team hosted the band during the 2014-15 NHL season for a “Metallica Night” where band members did the ceremonial puck drop and received custom Sharks jerseys.

The Sharks aren’t the only team to celebrate the Bay Area icons, as the San Francisco Giants held a “Metallica Night” back in 2013.

The Sharks got themselves back into the Stanley Cup Final with a thrilling 3-2 overtime win on their home ice over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. But the Sharks nevertheless have to view Monday’s Game 4 showdown as a must-win to avoid a 3-1 series deficit. Perhaps the presence of Metallica will help get the guys sufficiently fired up.