>>Stanley Cup 2nd Most Watched Ever
This year's Stanley Cup Final is the second most-watched on record.
The series won by the Chicago Blackhawks over the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games averaged nearly 5.6 million viewers on NBC and NBCSN. It trails only the six-game 2013 series between Chicago and the Boston Bruins, which averaged almost 5.8 million. NBC said Tuesday the audience was up 11 percent from the 5 million for last year's five-game series between the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers.
Nielsen's records go back to 1994.
Monday's Game 6 drew more than 8 million viewers to make it the fourth-largest audience for an NHL game on record.
Game 6 averaged a 41.0 rating and 57 share in the Chicago area, a record for the market. That means that 41 percent of homes with televisions and 57 percent of households with TVs in use at the time were tuned to the clincher.
>>Tampa Bay Reveals Injuries
Two key Tampa Bay Lightning players dealt with debilitating injuries throughout the Stanley Cup Finals, and both were finally able to disclose the serious nature of each following a Game 6 defeat to the Chicago Blackhawks.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, starting goaltender Ben Bishop played through a torn groin suffered in Game 2, while speedy winger Tyler Johnson's offense dried up because of a broken right wrist sustained in Game 1.
Bishop, of course, departed Game 2 on two occasions due to a then unknown and undisclosed issue, eventually giving way to backup Andrei Vasilevskiy. He got the start, and won, Game 3, but sat out in favor of Vasilevskiy in a Game 4 loss before coming back to complete the final two contests in the series.
Johnson led the entire NHL in goals (13) and points (23) during the Bolts' surge to the final round, but he totaled just one score in his last 10 postseason appearances.