Some good ratings news, via the NHL’s daily email:
* The Devils-Rangers game drew a 1.6 overnight rating on NBC, a record on the network for a regular-season NHL game (excluding regionals and Winter Classics).
* The game also drew a 5.1 rating in New York, the highest-ever rating in the New York market for a regular-season NHL game on NBC and tied for the best New York game ever (with Game 1 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final).
* NBC was the No. 1 network in the New York market within the 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET time period.
* Saturday’s game between the Kings and Ducks drew a 2.38 rating in Los Angeles, the highest rating ever in the L.A. market for a regular-season NHL game on NBCSN.
* From 10:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. PT, NBCSN was the No. 1 cable network in market and the No. 2 network overall.
Pretty solid proof that the novelty for these games hasn’t quite worn off yet. Which is reassuring for both the league and its broadcasting partners, because there are three outdoor games left this season, starting Wednesday at Yankee Stadium between the Rangers and Islanders. On March 1, the Blackhawks host the Penguins at Soldier Field. The next day, it’s the Canucks and Senators at Vancouver’s BC Place.
Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick
Dion Phaneuf‘s first home game as a member of the Ottawa Senators is going more smoothly than his debut did on Wednesday.
Ottawa fell 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings last night, and they need another goal to tie up the Colorado Avalanche. Still, Phaneuf’s making a bigger impact on Thursday, collecting two assists … his first two points in a Sens’ sweater.
You can see his crowd-pleasing first helper above.
Here’s his second assist for good measure:
Update: The Avalanche held on, taking a 4-3 edge. Even so, Phaneuf’s getting a warm welcome in his new hockey city.
Phaneuf on the Ottawa crowd reaction: "It gave me chills."