The first night of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs featured plenty of action – and a surprising amount of scoring – and it appears that audiences took notice. Generally speaking, ratings were up based on a wide variety of criteria, including a new high mark or two.
For one thing, the first night of action on NBCSN and CNBC was up 53 percent from last year. CNBC saw its best opening night of action, besting its previous high by a whopping 153 percent.
Here’s the full slate of ratings information from NBC:
Opening night of the 2014 NHL Playoffs averaged 472,000 viewers across the three games on NBCSN/CNBC (+53% from opening night in 2013), 305,000 P18-49 (+53%).
NBCSN’s two games averaged 486,000 viewers (+22% from the comparable coverage in 2013; 397,000), 289,000 P18-49 (+14%) and 260,000 P25-54 (+21%).
In its third year of NHL coverage, CNBC posted its best audience for a playoff opening night with 450,000 average viewers (+34% from the previous high in 2012), 329,000 P18-49 (+103%).
The combined NHL audience across NBCSN and CNBC from 7:30P-10:30P ranked #1 in cable for the time period among Men 18-49 (524,000).
Last night’s Columbus-Pittsburgh first-round game on NBCSN averaged 584,000 viewers, up 39% from NBCSN’s early game on opening night of the playoffs last year (Minnesota-Chicago)
Last night’s Dallas-Anaheim first-round game on NBCSN averaged 390,000 viewers, up 12% from NBCSN’s late game on opening night of the playoffs last year (Detroit-Anaheim)
Last night’s Montreal-Tampa Bay first-round game on CNBC averaged 450,000 viewers, making it the most-watched game for a Stanley Cup Playoffs opening night on CNBC, up 153% from CNBC’s early game on opening night of the playoffs last year (Los Angeles-St. Louis)
Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss
This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.
Per @EliasSports: @LAKings had 9 different skaters score in a game for 5th time in franchise history. Last: Jan. 21, 1987 vs. PIT (10-5 W).
Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.
Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”
Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.