Stanley Cup Final, Game 1 TV ratings: Triple OT thriller draws best overnight in 16 years

USA TODAY Sports

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final was the highest rated Game 1 since 1997.

Despite ending well past midnight on the east coast, people stuck with Game 1 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final in large numbers.

The game -- which Andrew Shaw of Chicago ended in the third overtime -- drew a 4.8 overnight, the best for a Stanley Cup Final Game 1 since 1997 when the Flyers and Red Wings drew a 5.2 on Fox. It was also up 100 percent from last year's meekly rated overtime Game 1 between Los Angeles and New Jersey (2.3). Based on past audiences, you can expect a number between six and seven million for the thriller between the Bruins and Blackhawks.

Unsurprisingly, both teams resonated well locally. In Chicago, where tornado and lightning storms kept everyone inside (though also threatened to shut down power), the game drew a 25.1 rating. That's up 49 percent from Game 1 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final (16.9), when the Blackhawks defeated the Flyers. Boston drew a 28.1 rating for the game. That was up ten percent from Game 1 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final between the Bruins and Vancouver (25.5).

The top markets outside of Boston and Chicago were Bruins-friendly Providence (18.5), Buffalo (8.5) and Milwaukee (6.1).

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