While it didn't quite hit the highs of the earlier games in the day, Sunday night's Capitals vs. Rangers showdown gave NBC Sports Network a pretty big audience.
The tightly contested 2-1 Rangers win drew 609,000 viewers to NBCSN. That tops the previous Sunday's Devils vs. Penguins (556,000 viewers) game as the most-watched non-Wednesday night game of the season for NBC Sports Network. It also literally tripled the viewership of last year's 'Hockey Day' late game on NBCSN, Devils vs. Canadiens, up 200 percent (203,000).
In New York, the game drew a 1.84 local rating, the second-best ever for a Rangers game against a non-New York area opponent (i.e. the Devils and Islanders) on the network. The Washington market drew a 1.9 rating. Both markets had drawn a 1.5 earlier in the day for Kings vs. Blackhawks on NBC.
Just as a comparison, 1.81 million viewers tuned into Kings vs. Blackhawks, up 31 percent from Bruins vs. Wild last year (1.31 million). Penguins vs. Sabres viewership numbers will not be available until Friday.
Another NBCSN Rangers-related note to update you on: last Tuesday night's Rangers vs. Bruins game drew 235,000 viewers. That game, even thoughwas blacked out on NBC Sports Network in both New York and Boston, still drew more viewers than Feb. 4's Dallas vs. Colorado matchup (176,000 viewers).
Viewership numbers for The NHL on NBC Sports Network, 2013 season
Jan. 20, Chicago* vs. Phoenix - 260,000
Jan. 21, Detroit* vs. Columbus - 390,000
Jan. 22, Philadelphia* vs. New Jersey - 449,000
Jan. 23, Boston vs. NY Rangers - 956,000
Jan. 27, Minnesota vs. St. Louis - 401,000
Jan. 29, NY Islanders vs. Pittsburgh* - 245,000
Jan. 30, Chicago vs. Minnesota - 827,000
Feb. 4, Dallas vs. Colorado - 176,000
Feb. 5, Tampa Bay vs. Philadelphia* - 300,000
Feb. 6, Boston vs. Montreal - 771,000
Feb. 10, New Jersey vs. Pittsburgh - 556,000
Feb. 12, NY Rangers* vs. Boston* - 235,000
Feb. 13, St. Louis vs. Detroit - 453,000
Feb. 17, Washington vs. NY Rangers - 609,000
*game was blacked out on NBCSN in this market