The Penguins' win over Buffalo on New Year's Day in the NHL Winter Classic was a hit in more ways than one.
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Apart from the Pens' heroics in the shootout victory, the game created ratings fireworks for NBC.
The network said the game produced the best overnight NHL regular season ratings in more than a decade, surpassing even Wayne Gretzky's last game, which was broadcast on Fox back in 1999.
But the real winners were the fans. More than 71,000 spectators huddled in the snow in Buffalo's Ralph Wilson Stadium. And prior to the game, many of them reveled in the pre-game atmosphere, sparking the kind of buzz that lights up smiles in the NHL marketing department.