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Stanley Cup Final Game 1 ratings down 25 percent in overnights on NBC

Greg Wyshynski
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Beth Phoenix and Edge were very much excited about Wednesday night's Los Angeles Kings' 2-1 OT win over the New Jersey Devils.

The majority of U.S. hockey fans with access to television sets? Eh, not so much.

Steve Lepore of SB Nation reports that NBC drew a 2.4 rating and a 4 share overnight for Game 1, which was down 25 percent from Game 1 in 2011 between the Vancouver Canucks vs. the Boston Bruins.

The ratings might climb when overtime viewership numbers are finalized, given that's where the audience was likely the largest. But they'll still be down year to year, to which Lepore says fear not:

This isn't exactly a terrific start for this series, but as you'll see, Pittsburgh/Detroit started slow a few years ago, and that series ended up okay. The Devils making this a series will be key to its success, or else we could be back toward 2004/2006/2007-type lows. For now, though, keep hope alive.

Locally, the game did a 5.1 in New York (the best playoff numbers there since Game 7 in 2003) and a 4.2 in Los Angeles (the best playoff numbers there since Game 5 in 2006), according to Lepore.

He also reports that Oklahoma City tied with Pittsburgh for 5th with a 3.5 rating, for which we'll give credit to The Flaming Lips, just because we want them to turn "Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots" into a hockey anthem. Because we're just as cool as the NBA.

Again, the Final's numbers will grow as the series goes deeper, the bile builds up and (hopefully) we're treated to better game play than that dead-legged slog for the first 30 minutes.

Frankly, no matter what happens in the Final, the NHL's had an incredibly successful run on NBC and NBCSN this season.

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