The seventh and deciding Stanley Cup Final game between the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks was watched by an average of 8.76 million Canadians on Hockey Night in Canada.

The mark, based on metered television audience data, represents the highest ever audience for an NHL broadcast in CBC history.

The 2002 Olympic gold medal final between Canada and the United States, at an average of 8.96 million viewers, is the network sports broadcast record.

Viewership for the 4-0 victory for the Bruins peaked Wednesday night at 11.2 million viewers just past the midway mark of the game, and a total of 18.45 million Canadians caught at least some portion of Game 7.

In the U.S., the contest matched the highest preliminary television rating for a Game 7 on record.

NBC earned a 5.7 overnight rating and 10 share, winning the night for the network in the U.S. It tied the 2003 Game 7 between Anaheim and New Jersey.

The game was up 14 per cent from the most recent Game 7 in 2009, featuring two popular U.S. teams, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.

Ratings represent the percentage of all homes with televisions tuned into a program. Shares represent the percentage of all homes with TVs in use at the time. Overnight ratings measure the country's largest markets.

Both CBC and NBC easily led their competitors with respect to viewers aged 25 to 49.

With files from The Associated Press