The presence of two American teams and stars like Sidney Crosby led to a big TV ratings increase. Ratings in Canada were higher than the last time two U.S. teams faced off. ((Keith Srakocic/Associated Press))

The Detroit Red Wings victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup final provided good news in the ratings department on both sides of the border.

CBC averaged over 2.3 million viewers for the Red Wings-Penguins series, a big increase over the last time two teams based in the U.S. were pitted in the final. The network averaged just over 1.5 million viewers for Anaheim-New Jersey in 2003, a final result that was bumped considerably by a sizeable Game 7 audience.

The 2008 final was down eight per cent overall from last year's final, which featured the Ottawa Senators. Anaheim's defeat of Ottawa garnered an average of just over 2.5 million viewers.

For the first time in the last four seasons of play, this year's final did not involve a Canadian team.

There were ratings gains in the U.S. for the series overall and particularly for Game 6.

NBC said on Thursday that the Game 6 clincher drew a 4.4 overnight rating and a 7 share on the network. By comparison Game 7 in 2003, which according to A.C. Nielson at the time was the most watched NHL game in the U.S. in 29 years, drew a 4.6.

Wednesday's game doubled the ratings the last time a Game 6  was played. Edmonton and Carolina two years ago earned a 2.2 in the U.S.

The four games on NBC between Detroit and Pittsburgh averaged a 3.2 rating and a 6 share, the highest since Carolina-Detroit in 2002 averaged a 3.6.

The rating is the percentage watching a program among homes with televisions, and the share is the percentage tuned into the broadcast among those households with TVs on at the time.

With files from the Associated Press