After weeks of speculation, Rascal Flatts were revealed as the country act grabbing the honor of performing the National Anthem before the Nashville Predators' first 2018 playoff game against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday (April 12).

The trio's Joe Don Rooney couldn’t contain himself, and let the cat out of the bag in a social media post earlier that afternoon:

The trio's billing came as a bit of a surprise. The Predators had teased “a pregame show never before seen in the NHL,” which led many fans to speculate that Carrie Underwood, who has been teasing of late that “big things” are in store with the team (her husband is Predators captain Mike Fisher), might make her way out for a long-anticipated performance.

However, Underwood has been laying low since suffering an accident last fall, and had already announced she’d be performing a new song at the Academy of Country Music Awards on April 15 — so apparently she’d decided to reserve her big return to that particular stage.

At any rate, the Flatts — dressed in Preds jerseys — gave a rousing anthem that brought the crowd to roars of approval.

The Predators' tradition of inviting country superstars to perform the National Anthem prior to their playoff games began during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. To date they've hosted Underwood, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town and Trisha Yearwood, in addition to the Flatts.

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