Sidney Crosby's return to the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup drew an average audience of 1.2 million viewers to CBC on Monday night.
The network announced Tuesday that viewership spiked at 1.55 million after Crosby opened the scoring against the New York Islanders early in the first period.
In all, 5.7 million Canadians watched part of the broadcast.
Crosby finished with four points in his first NHL game since Jan. 5.
The viewership numbers were less than the CBC drew on Saturday for its early games on "Hockey Night in Canada." Last weekend, the Toronto-Washington and Montreal-New York Rangers games averaged 2.07 million in the 7 p.m. ET time slot.
CBC made a late decision to televise Monday's Islanders-Penguins game after Crosby announced Sunday he would be returning.