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Thursday June 5th, 2014

By Allan Muir

The Hollywood Reporter published the overnight ratings for Wednesday's night's Stanley Cup Final Game 1 broadcast on NBC. And like most statistics, you can pull what you want from them.

If you're Gary Bettman, you'll be happy to trumpet that Los Angeles' 3-2 OT win over the Rangers pulled the second-biggest overnight ratings for a Game 1 in NBC history: a 3.8 among households. That's way up from the 2.4 delivered by the 2012 opener featuring the Kings and Devils, and it gave the Peacock network first place for the night.

Hockey viewership in Los Angeles was also way up. The game earned a 7.1 households rating in the nation's biggest market. That's the third-best number ever for a hockey game in L.A. and it suggests a growing level of interest that can be built on in the future. The news isn't all good, however. The numbers were down more than 20 percent from last year's record-breaking opener featuring Boston and Chicago. It's clear tough for even the nation's two largest TV markets to match the hockey passion in Beantown and the Second City.

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