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Despite the worst record in the Eastern Conference, the Canadiens continue to sell out Bell Centre, with the streak dating back to January '04. While the Islanders also rank near the bottom of the standings and average attendance, the 25.4% increase this season is tops among all NHL clubs. Also seeing healthy gains at the gate are the Lightning, Panthers, Devils and Senators. The only Eastern Conference club seeing a decline to date is the Hurricanes, down 3.4%. During their first season back in Winnipeg, the Jets are averaging 15,004 fans per game. The franchise finished with an average of 13,469 during its final season in Atlanta. Listed below is team-by-team attendance for NHL Eastern Conference clubs through March 12, with comparisons to the same period last year. Also see yesterday's issue for Western Conference figures (THE DAILY).NHL EASTERN CONFERENCE ATTENDANCE THROUGH MARCH 12
HOME TEAMGMSTOTALAVG.% CAP.PREV.% +/-GMS ('10-11) Canadiens35744,55521,273100.0%21,2730.0%35 Flyers32632,04319,751101.1%19,6870.3%35 Maple Leafs35683,35019,524103.7%19,3311.0%36 Senators35672,71819,221100.4%18,2925.1%34 Sabres36672,44918,67999.9%18,3861.6%32 Penguins34631,06518,561100.9%18,2281.8%35 Capitals36666,21618,506100.0%18,3980.6%36 Lightning33607,29018,40395.8%17,1337.4%36 Rangers32582,05218,18999.9%18,0890.6%34 Bruins35614,75517,564100.0%17,5650.0%33 Panthers34558,61216,43085.3%15,4306.5%35 Hurricanes36565,19115,70084.0%16,245-3.4%33 Devils34517,99515,23586.4%14,3726.0%34 Jets35525,14015,004100.0%n/an/an/a Islanders35459,99713,14381.0%10,48325.4%36 E.C. TOTALS5179,133,42817,66696.0%17,0503.6%520 NHL TOTALS68011,778,95517,32294.5%16,9742.1%682
NOTES: Attendance figures for the Compuware NHL Premiere series and Bridgestone Winter Classic have been replaced with the team's home capacity. All NHL attendance data is based on totals posted immediately following games. Figures do not reflect any subsequent adjustments made by teams or the league. The Jets are playing in MTS Centre this season, having relocated from Atlanta after the '10-11 season. Figures for the '10-11 NHL season include data for the Thrashers.