By Alan Pergament
Western New York hockey fans can shout "we're No.2, we're No.2" after the national ratings for Toronto's shootout victory over Detroit in Wednesday's Winter Classic arrived.
Naturally, Detroit was No. 1 with an 18.0 rating to see the outdoor game played at Michigan Stadium, which is commonly called "The Big House."
The Buffalo market was No.2 with a 7.2 rating on Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate. That's in line with what many regular season Buffalo Sabres average.
Pittsburgh was third with a 7.0, followed by St. Louis with a 4.4 and Chicago with a 4.3.
The game had a 2.5 national rating, which tied it with the 2009 Winter Classic for the best rating for a regular season game in 39 years.
It was the second-most watched regular season NHL game -- there is a difference between highest-rated and most-watched -- behind only the 2011 Winter Classic that was played in prime time.
Viewership would have been even higher if the Toronto market was measured. The rating for the Canadian city doesn't count in the United States.
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