The first round of the Stanley Cup playoff battle between the Washington Capitals and the Boston Bruins is headed to Game 7 Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. in Boston. You have two teams that have played six games all decided by a single goal, and three of the six were overtime affairs.
This series has been a dream for the fans, as well as for the networks both in the United States and Canada. You have to also think that the gang in the NHL office in New York are smiling from ear to ear about how this series is playing out in two of the leagues' top media markets.
Boston and Washington have outdone each other providing fans with plenty of quality drama. We have the defending Cup champion Bruins being pushed to the brink by the seventh-seeded Capitals, who made the playoffs with just two games left to go in the regular season.
It is only fitting that Sunday's Game 6 won by the Bruins on the road in Washington 4-3 in overtime would be a national hit.
According to information provided to Bleacher Report via an afternoon news release, the game was the most watched hockey playoff game in 15 years.
The data from NBC shows the broadcast from Washington drew 3.52 million viewers, making it the most-watched NHL Playoff game (excluding Stanley Cup Final games) in 15 years, since May 25, 1997 (Rangers-Flyers Conference Final game, Fox, 3.61 million viewers).
The 3.52 million for Bruins-Capitals is the most-watched early-round NHL Playoff game in Nielsen People Meter history (dating back to 1993)
Boston (16.3 rating) and Washington, D.C. (8.6) both registered the best rating for an NHL playoff game, excluding Stanley Cup Final games, in their respective local markets in Nielsen People Meter history (dating back to 1993)
Game 7 will be seen nationally on NBC Sports Network Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. ET. However, locally in Washington, the game will air on Comcast SportsNet Mid Atlantic with the pregame starting at 7:00 p.m. In Boston, the game will air on NESN with their pregame also scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m.