The Detroit Red Wings vs. Colorado Avalanche rivalry in the late 1990s and early 2000s was appointment NHL viewing. The Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers rivalry is officially at that same level.
On Sunday, NBC's coverage of Game 3 in the Battle of Pennsylvania pulled in the best ratings for a playoff game since 2002. The 2.3 overnight rating was just shy of Game 1 between the 2.4 rating drawn in Game 1 between the Wings and Avs ten years ago. For reference, the 2012 Winter Classic drew a 2.4 rating as well.
Sunday's number is tops for an NHL playoff game since NBC took over the national broadcast rights in 2006, according to Puck The Media, which shared the numbers Monday.
Via PTM, NBC did well with Predators vs. Red Wings and action all throughout the opening weekend of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs:
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, the first part of NBC's doubleheader was no slouch. Predators/Red Wings, Game 3 drew a 1.5 overnight. This equaled the rating for Saturday's double-OT thriller between the Bruins and Capitals, and marked the best overnight for a Predators game ever on NBC.
Stick with SBNation.com for full coverage of the 2012 NHL playoffs.