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Predators looking for a smashing success

Nashville fans allowed to hammer Sharks-themed car for charity

by Pat Pickens @Pat_Pickens / Staff Writer

The Nashville Predators are home for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which means the return of the Smash Car.

Ahead of Game 3 of the Western Conference Second Round against the San Jose Sharks at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; USA, SN360, TVA Sports 2), the Predators rolled out the latest edition of the car, this one painted in San Jose colors.

The Sharks lead the best-of-7 series 2-0.

For a donation of $5 for one swing or $10 for three swings, Predators fans can use a sledgehammer on the car to take out their playoff angst. All proceeds go to the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Dollar General. The charity, which Predators goalie Pekka Rinne and defenseman Shea Weber helped create in 2013, raises money and awareness for cancer research.

"We're always looking for new ways to raise money," Rebecca King, Predators senior director of community relations, said. "We're here to beat the opposition and get the nervous energy out."

The Smash Car has been a fixture at playoff games since Nashville first reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs during the 2003-04 season.

A local auto-body shop donates the cars to the Predators for the promotion. After the engine and glass are removed, a graffiti artist paints the car with the colors of the Predators' opponent. The Predators provide one car to smash per playoff round, and after each series the cars are cubed and added to a display inside the arena.

The Predators are on their second car of the playoffs and their second sledgehammer. During the first round, a fan smashed an Anaheim Ducks-colored car with such force that the hammer's head broke off.

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