The Tampa Bay Lightning-Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup final has averaged 4.965 million viewers on NBC and NBCSN through the first four games making it the second-most watched final through four games in 18 years.
Only the 2013 Stanley Cup Final between the the Blackhawks and Bruins had more viewers through the first four games. (5.341 million).
Last night’s Game 4 produced the most-watched Stanley Cup Final quarter-hour ever on NBCSN (5.489 million, 10:30-10:45 p.m. ET).
[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
Through four games, this year’s Final has produced a 2.91 HH rating.
Locally, Chicago’s average rating of 24.1 through four games is up 18 percent compared to its four-game average rating for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final (20.5). In Tampa, Game 4 set the record for highest rating in the market for a Lightning game on NBCSN (13.9).
Chicago’s Game 4, 2-1 win, produced a 2.23 HH rating and averaged 3.914 million viewers replacing Game 3 of the series as the third-most watched Stanley Cup Final game ever on NBCSN. Viewership of last night’s game was up 16 percent compared to last year’s Rangers-Kings Game 4 on NBCSN (3.383 million).
Between 8-11 p.m. ET NBCSN ranked as the top network on television among the 18-49 demographic.
Game 5 of the series goes Saturday night in Tampa with puck drop set for 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
This post originally appeared on ProHockeyTalk.
After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.
Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.
"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.
"What was said this time around crossed the line."
The Capitals released a statement about the incident:
"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."
The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.
Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.
"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."
The Capitals released the full interview.
Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.
Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.
Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:
After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:
Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: