There was a lot of anticipation for Game 1 of the 2011 NHL Playoffs first-round series between the Capitals and the Rangers locally, and the final TV ratings show that. According to TVByTheNumbers.com, the game received a 6.18 share in the Washington D.C. area on Comcast SportNet, a 21 percent increase on last season's Game 1 between Montreal.
That's means that approximately 145,000 households were tuned in to the Capitals game. Roughly 34,000 households in Baltimore were tuned into the game as well, meaning the game was seen by about 179,000 households combined. The game reached its peak in the overtime period, receiving a 7.85 share at that time. The only game in the last few years to top those ratings was Game 7 of last year's series between the Capitals and the Canadiens.
That's what several long months of waiting until the playoffs come around again will do to a fanbase.