PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 25: Chris Kunitz #14 of the Pittsburgh Penguins scores a goal against Craig Anderson #41 of the Ottawa Senators during the second period in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 25, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators played a thriller Thursday night in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, with Pittsburgh prevailing 3-2 in double overtime.

The game featured two dramatic third-period goals, several minor controversies and 25 minutes of tense overtime hockey. It was just about everything the NHL could have asked for in a Game 7.

As a result of the stakes and the excitement, ratings for Penguins-Senators were incredibly strong.

Let’s start with Canada, where more than 11 million people (out of a population of 35 million) watched at least some of the game. Sportsnet and CBC combined averaged 4.29 million viewers, making it Canada’s most watched game of the 2017 postseason and the most watched playoff game in Senators franchise history.

The numbers stateside were maybe even more impressive. According to NBC, Penguins-Senators drew 3.016 million viewers, up 16 percent from the Pittsburgh-Tampa Bay matchup in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. It was the third most watched game ever on NBCSN and the most watched game involving a Canadian team.

NBC also says Game 7 logged 24.7 million live minutes, making it the most streamed game in NHL history.

Something about that Penguins-Senators series—derided as slow and boring for a while there—seems to have captured the public imagination. Or, more likely, fans just really like NHL playoff overtime.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.