Apparently the Bruins’ resurgance this season has carried over into the ratings books, and the folks at NESN have to be rooting for a Canadiens/Bruins first round after the early Nielsen reports from last night’s entertaining hockey game at the Garden.
NESN notched its highest National Hockey League  rating of the season and the best regular-season mark in 14 years with its coverage of the Boston Bruins-Montreal Canadiens fight-filled extravaganza on Thursday night. The regional sports network scored a pretty soldi 4.7 rating in the Boston market on April 9, with the Bruins-Habs action, according to the web site www.multichannel.com .
The contest matched the rating for the Bruins-Washington Capitals contest aired by NESN on Feb. 11, 1995, and topped the 4.5 rating earned by Boston-Montreal during an after game in Montreal on Super Bowl  Sunday, Feb. 1. The April 9 Habs/B’s was the highest-rated regular-season Bruins game on any network since Oct. 2, 1997, when WSBK-TV-38’s coverage of the Bruins’ season opener against the L.A. Kings also finished with a 4.7 household rating.
In a related development, the B’s final two games of the regular season were both scheduled to be aired on NESN, but because of aconflict with one of the Red Sox-Angels games, Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Islanders (5 p.m.) can be seen on NESNplus.
The B’s/Islanders tilt — sure to be a barnburner — will air on Comcast: Channel 81 (standard) and Channel 817 (high definition) on Sunday afternoon.