2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six

2013 Stanley Cup Final delivers record ratings for NBC


The numbers are in, and the grand conclusion of this year’s Stanley Cup Final was another boon for the National Hockey League, NBC and the NBC Sports Network.

According to the NBC Sports Group, Game 6 of the 2013 final between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks was watched by 8.16 million viewers, making it “the most-watched game of the final.” The number of viewers for Game 6 peaked at 10.424 million.

But it gets better for NBC.

This year’s final averaged 5.76 million viewers across NBC and and NBC Sports Network, making it “the most-watched Stanley Cup Final on record.” (Data goes back to 1994)

It’s not hard to figure out why. The final between the two Original Six teams provided constant thrills, exceptional hockey and came down to the wire in all six games.

Three games were decided in overtime, including that spectacular triple overtime game to begin the series.

The drama hit its peak when the Blackhawks scored twice in a span of 17 seconds late in the third period to reverse a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead, before hanging on for the final 59 seconds of regulation time to defeat the Bruins 3-2 and claim the Stanley Cup.

That makes it the second Stanley Cup for the Blackhawks in the last four years.

So, where does Monday’s game rank compared to the other “most-watched” playoff games for NBC?

The 4.7 household rating from Monday put it third on the top-five list of “most-watched” NHL games on NBC, dating back to 2006.

Below is the info graphic from NBC Sports Group. (Viewers in millions)

Rank Program Episode Date Rtg Viewers
1 Game 7 Boston at Vancouver 6/15/2011 4.8 8,537
2 Game 6 Chicago at Philadelphia 6/9/2010 4.7 8,279
3 Game 6 Boston at Chicago 6/24/2013 4.7 8,160
4 Game 7 Pittsburgh at Detroit 6/12/2009 4.3 7,992
5 Game 6 Detroit at Pittsburgh 6/4/2008 4.0 6,781

The 2013 playoffs – not just the final – also included three of the five most-watched NHL games in NBC Sports Network history. (Viewers in millions)

Year Game Teams Viewers
2013 Stanley Cup Final, Game 3 Chicago @ Boston 4.001 million
2013 Stanley Cup Final, Game 2 Boston @ Chicago 3.964
2010 Stanley Cup Final, Game 3 Philadelphia @ Chicago 3.600
2009 Stanley Cup Final, Game 4 Detroit @ Pittsburgh 3.448
2013 Conference Semi-Finals, Game 7 Detroit @ Chicago 3.354

“For the entire playoffs, NBC, NBCSN and CNBC combined to average 1.467 million viewers for 84 games, making it the most-watched Stanley Cup Playoffs on record (since 1994),” stated the NBC Sports Group.




Niemi blanks Pens, notches two assists in Stars debut

Antti Niemi, Sidney Crosby, Patric Hornqvist

DALLAS (AP) — Antti Niemi recorded his 33rd career shutout and assisted on two goals in his Dallas debut, as the Stars beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 on Thursday night in the season opener for both.

Ales Hemsky had a power-play goal and an assist.

Rookie Matthias Janmark scored on his first shot on his first shift in an NHL game to make it 1-0. The Stars acquired Niemi and Janmark in trades earlier this year.

Dallas scored on two of five power plays. Jamie Benn, the NHL’s leading scorer last season, had a power-play goal in the third period.

Niemi made 37 saves to improve his career record against the Penguins to 5-1-1. He withstood a flurry in the final minute after Pittsburgh pulled goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for an extra skater.

Fleury had 21 saves.

The Stars are 4-0-1 in their last five home games against Pittsburgh, and have won three in a row overall.

Janmark skated down the slot, took a pass from Hemsky and shot between Fleury’s legs at 1:39 of the first.

The Penguins dominated the latter half of the period, but couldn’t score. Niemi’s best stop was a reaching glove save of Rod Scuderi’s drive from the blue line with less than 3 minutes remaining. Pittsburgh outshot the Stars 10-4 in the first.

Hemsky scored at 5:42 of the second on Dallas’ first power play. His shot from the top of the right faceoff circle went in over Fleury’s right shoulder.

The Penguins again had an advantage in shots, 13-11. Pittsburgh had chances in close, but Niemi turned those away. Midway through the second, John Klingberg cleared away a loose puck from in front of the net.

Seven seconds into the Stars’ fourth power play of the third period, Jamie Benn tipped in Jason Spezza‘s shot from the right point.

NOTES: Dallas acquired Janmark as part of a March trade that sent Erik Cole to Detroit. The rookie had been playing in the Swedish Hockey League. . San Jose traded Niemi’s rights to the Stars in June for a seventh-round draft pick. Also making their Dallas debuts were LW Patrick Sharp and D Johnny Oduya, teammates with Chicago’s Stanley Cup champions last season. . In his first game for the Penguins, Phil Kessel played in his 447th straight game. . Pittsburgh was 0 for 3 on the power play.

Fabbri’s first spoils McDavid’s debut as Blues down Oilers

Robby Fabbri, Justin Schultz
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rookie Robby Fabbri scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period to help the St. Louis Blues beat Edmonton 3-1 Thursday night, spoiling Oilers rookie Connor McDavid‘s NHL debut.

Vladimir Tarasenko had the tying goal for the Blues near the midpoint of the second period, and Troy Brouwer added an empty-netter with 18 seconds remaining in the third. Brian Elliott finished with 23 saves.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored in the first period for Edmonton and Cam Talbot had 28 saves.

McDavid, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, took 22 shifts, played 18:07 and was on the ice for Brouwer’s goal. He had two shots on goal, and struggled on faceoffs – winning only three of 13.

Fabbri, a 19-year-old forward — and McDavid’s childhood friend — was also playing in his first NHL game. The Blues’ first-round pick in 2014 was one of three rookies in the St. Louis lineup, joining defensemen Colton Parayko and Joel Edmundson.

Nugent-Hopkins gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead late in the first period with a fluke power-play goal. He lost a face-off but when Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo tried to clear the puck it bounced off Alexander Steen and past Brian Elliott. Nugent-Hopkins was credited with the unassisted power-play goal with 2:38 remaining in the period.

Tarasenko tied it a 9:10 of the second after getting loose on a breakaway with a stretch pass from Alex Pietrangelo and beating Talbot through his legs.

Tarasenko, who signed an eight-year, $60 million extension in the offseason, was the last Blues player to score in his debut.

NOTES: McDavid and F Anton Slepyshev made their NHL debuts for the Oilers. … St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina dropped the ceremonial first puck. … The attendance was announced as standing room-only 19,327.