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Blackhawks' season opener scores record ratings for NBC Sports Network

The Blackhawks’ 2013 Stanley Cup Champion banner wasn’t the only thing that went up during Tuesday’s game. The ratings did, too.

Last night’s Capitals-Blackhawks duel on NBC Sports Network was seen by an average of 935,000 viewers, making it the most-watched season opener on cable on record, according to data available since 1993.

It also ranks as the second-most watched regular-season game ever on NBC Sports Network, which began its NHL coverage in 2005-06. (The most-watched regular-season game was the Jan. 23, 2013 bout between the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers, when 956,000 viewers tuned in.)

Chicago scored a 7.32 rating for Tuesday’s game. That’s a record high among Chicago viewers for a regular-season NHL game on NBC Sports, which ranked as the top cable channel in the Chicago market during the match that saw the Hawks beat the Washington Capitals 6-4 at the United Center.

Washington delivered the net’s second-highest ratings with a 2.3 followed by Buffalo (1.4), Baltimore (1.3) and Ft. Myers (1.0) to round out the top five.

The Hawks face the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7 p.m. Saturday at the United Center. That game will be shown on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.