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Stanley Cup Final

Winter Classic matches highest television rating for regular-season NHL game in 39 years

Friday, 01.03.2014 / 3:45 PM / News

The Canadian Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The Winter Classic has matched the highest television rating for a regular-season NHL game in 39 years.

The Toronto Maple Leafs' 3-2 shootout win over the Detroit Red Wings on NBC on Wednesday earned a 2.5 rating. The network said Friday that tied the 2009 New Year's Day game between Detroit and the Chicago Blackhawks at Wrigley Field.

The rating was up 19 per cent from the last Winter Classic in 2012 between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers.

Ratings represent the percentage of homes with televisions tuned into a program.

I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the series-winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round