The Devils/Rangers rivalry did not attract big numbers Monday night.
Game 1 of the Devils/Rangers NHL Eastern Conference final drew 1.285 million viewers on NBC Sports Network Monday night, down 17% from Bruins/Lightning Game 1 on a Saturday night last year (1.541M), and down 13% from Canadiens/Flyers Game 1 on a Sunday night in 2010 (1.481M).
The game was also down 23% from Hurricanes/Penguins Game 1 in 2009 (1.660M).
While the Rangers — and to a lesser extent, the Devils — are both high-profile NHL brands, the fact remains that a series between the rivals still only includes one home market. As FOX and Major League Baseball learned during the 2000 World Series, excitement in New York does not necessarily translate across the country.
On Sunday night, Game 1 of the Kings/Coyotes Western Conference final drew 1.105 million viewers, actually up 10% from Sharks/Canucks Game 1 on a Sunday night last year (1.009M), and down 49% from Blackhawks/Sharks Game 1 on the NBC broadcast network in 2010 (2.161M).