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Rangers rating good, Blackhawks rating better

Montreal Canadiens goalie Ken Dryden in net at

Montreal Canadiens goalie Ken Dryden in net at Madison Square Garden. Credit: Newsday file photo

Game 1 of the Rangers-Canadiens Eastern Conference final Saturday averaged 1.2 percent of homes in major markets on NBC, and 3.2 in New York.

That is not bad for a warm, sunny afternoon in May, especially because the Montreal market doesn't count seeing as how it's in a different country.

But that 3.2 in New York is small potatoes compared to what happened, TV-wise, in the Chicago market Sunday afternoon.

Game 1 of the Western Conference final averaged a whopping 15.9 percent of homes in Chicago. That's a lot.

The game averaged a 1.9 nationally in major markets, including a modest 2.1 in L.A., home of the Kings.

The playoffs shift to NBCSN during the week. Look for the local ratings race to pretty much remain Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, in that order.

Bottom line: Having the nation's three largest TV markets in the final four is a nice thing for NBC. And as Canadian franchises go, Montreal is about as good as it gets, because Americans have heard of the Canadiens - and of Montreal.

Unlike, say, Winnipeg or Calgary. Or Kamloops.

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