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The NHL is averaging 17,043 fans per game through November 10, up 1.2% when compared to the same period a year ago. The Eastern Conference is down 1.4% during the same period. Among Eastern Conference teams, the Capitals, whose payroll has increased by almost $17M in the past year, are seeing the biggest gains, up more than 24% at Verizon Center. Also tracking double-digit gains are the Bruins and Panthers. In the first year of the Oren Koules and Len Barrie era, the Lightning are down 15% from a year ago, while the Thrashers are seeing the conference's biggest average attendance drop-off, down 15.7%. The following lists team-by-team attendance for NHL Eastern Conference teams, with comparisons to the same period in '07-08. See tomorrow's issue of THE DAILY for NHL Western Conference attendance (THE DAILY).NHL EASTERN CONFERENCE ATTENDANCE THROUGH NOVEMBER 10HOME TEAMGMSTOTALAVG.% CAP.PREV.% +/-GMS ('07-08)Canadiens5106,36521,273100.0%21,2730.0%8Maple Leafs8154,17419,272102.4%19,361-0.5%10Flyers7134,70519,24498.5%19,447-1.0%5
Senators**8149,51518,689101.2%19,406-3.7%11 Sabres7130,00918,57399.4%18,631-0.3%8 Rangers*11199,08518,099100.0%18,200-0.6%10 Capitals7123,79317,68596.8%14,23724.2%7 Penguins**7115,96216,566100.0%17,068-2.9%8 Lightning*7112,10516,01582.7%18,842-15.0%8 Hurricanes695,61515,93685.3%16,077-0.9%8 Bruins693,41515,56988.6%14,14910.0%8 Panthers575,39315,07978.3%13,63510.6%8 Devils8109,92013,74078.0%14,869-7.6%5 Thrashers793,68513,38472.2%15,869-15.7%6 Islanders8105,65613,20781.4%14,750-10.5%9 E.C. TOTALS1071,799,39716,81791.0%17,054-1.4%119 NHL TOTALS2143,647,13517,04393.0%16,8441.2%244
NOTES: * = Includes designated home game played in Prague, Czech Republic, with attendance of 17,085. ** = Includes designated home game played in Stockholm, Sweden, with attendance of 13,699.