In the NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe game Sunday, the sunset was both picturesque and somewhat problematic.
The aesthetically pleasing setting and backdrop of the Flyers' 7-3 loss to the Bruins helped produce record viewership for NBC Sports Network. Per NBC Sports communications, the outdoor matchup was the most-watched regular-season contest in NBCSN's 15-year history of televising NHL games. The game averaged a total audience delivery of 1.068 million viewers.
Per the release, the Flyers-Bruins matchup also marked the most-watched NHL regular-season game on cable since Sharks-Red Wings in 2002 (ESPN — 1.278 million) and became NBC Sports' most-streamed NHL regular-season game in its history (average minute audience of 49,700 viewers and live minutes at 7.8 million).
The problematic aspect of the sunset was for the players in the first period. With puck drop changed to a later time and the game officially commencing at 4:59 PT, Sean Couturier said the sun was blinding in spots and "kind of dangerous sometimes."
The Flyers' odds were against them from puck drop as the team was missing six important regulars because of COVID protocol.
"It was a picturesque scene out there and stuff like that, so that part of it was pretty cool," James van Riemsdyk said Tuesday. "Obviously we would have liked to have had a better result in the game, but any time you get a chance to play in those outdoor games like that, it's usually a cool experience.
"I think it's a cool thing for people to watch and see a different, unique setting even if it is just on TV and they can't be there for it. I think that kind of makes up for it."
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