Costas and crew eager to air U.S. outdoor game

'"I think people are comfortable with the idea that if there is a big event on NBC, that I might be the one to come on and set the stage. And it implicitly says that NBC considers this to be something of significance, that it's not your everyday hockey game. And it isn't. They didn't have to twist my arm. I think it's cool."'

It's outdoors, it's in Buffalo, it's the hottest ticket around

'Pennsylvanians accounted for 19 percent of StubHub's sales for the game, Ms. Ferrerr said, second only to New York at 56 percent. "That's a pretty high number for visiting team sales," she said.'

Sunday’s Pittsburgh Coverage

Armstrong, Malkin score as Conklin shuts out Buffalo (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

NHL tinkers with Winter Classic format (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

It’s outdoors, it’s in Buffalo, it’s the hottest ticket around (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Penguins win, but lose Roberts with broken leg (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)

NHL makes Winter Classic modifications (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)

Pens’ Shero not panicking despite injuries (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)

Penguins’ Conklin turns in own classic (Erie Times News)

Penguins’ Gary Roberts breaks left leg, out indefinitely (AP)

Roberts Out With Broken Fibula (PittsburghPenguins.com)

Photo gallery (PittsburghPenguins.com)

Pittsburgh 2, Buffalo 0

'Buffalo played its sixth game in 11 days, a difficult stretch leading up to the much-hyped Ralph Wilson Stadium game that will be played before an NHL-record crowd of 74,000-plus, and it showed. Right now, the Sabres need to win a game, indoors or outdoors.'

Pittsburgh 2, Buffalo 0

'"You have to give the Penguins credit, when they got the lead," said Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff. "They didn't make the mistakes to give up the odd man rushes that would put them in a tough situation."'

Conklin Shuts Out Sabres 2-0

'After no scoring in the first period, the Penguins took the 1-0 lead just 12 seconds into the second as Sidney Crosby set up Colby Armstrong in front of the net to tip the puck past Ryan Miller.'

Ty'd down

'Miller, who allowed just one goal in each of his last two games without a win to show for it, stopped 23 out of 24 Pittsburgh shots.'

Sunday’s Rochester Coverage

Amerks fall into last place (Rochester D&C)

Monsters grab lead and keep it (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Amerks Shutout (RNews.com)

Amerks whitewashed by Monsters, 3-0 (Amerks.com)

Amerks sign Forward Mathieu Beaudoin to PTO (Amerks.com)

Weiman and Monsters Shutout Rochester (LakeErieMonsters.com)

Photo gallery (LakeErieMonsters.com)

Penguins already gearing up in practice for great outdoors

'"Ty said he wore a deep-sea diver's suit under his equipment to stay warm because he was standing all the time," said forward Colby Armstrong, who grew up playing pond hockey in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. "I don't know if it will get that cold, but it will be weird to see."'

NHL challenges bowls with throwback game

'"We played outdoors all the time when I was a kid. It was fun," said Buffalo's Maxim Afinogenov, who grew up in Russia. "We didn't even know what it was like to play indoors. When you were growing up in Moscow, you always played outdoors."'

Teams will switch ends during halfway through third period of Winter Classic

'The Buffalo Sabres and the Pittsburgh Penguins will switch ends halfway through the third period of the NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day to ensure that each team spends an equal number of minutes attacking or defending each goal so any advantages or adversities created by weather conditions at Ralph Wilson Stadium will be nullified.'

Warming Up for a Chilly Day

'“What we have today is a low of 20 or so, and a high of about 32 — a little bit of rain, a little overcast,” Renzulli, the N.H.L.’s senior vice president for events and entertainment, said Thursday. “And that’s the forecast right through the game as of today. As long as it stays like this, it’s not a problem at all.”'

Ex-Oiler Smyth says unpredictable ice biggest adjustment in outdoor hockey

'In Edmonton, the players benches were heated, which provided relief from the cold but created a problem. "It was so hot on our bench, you couldn't acclimatize," said Smyth. "You'd go from really cold to really hot."'

Ex-Sabre Zubrus happy to be a Devil

'“I kept my options open but the team had other things like Chris [Drury] and Danny [Briere] to deal with so I understood,” Zubrus said before Friday’s game between the teams in Prudential Center. “I kind of knew those are things that had to be solved first before I got a phone call and I never really did get one.”'

Saturday’s Pittsburgh Coverage

Winter Classic will have definite retro look in Buffalo Tuesday (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Scouting the Sabres (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)

Sid The Kid relishes chance to get back on outdoor rink Tuesday (CP)

Buffalo (19-15-2) at Pittsburgh (19-16-2) (AP)

Penguins, Sabers meet in outdoor tuneup (Sportsticker)

Buffalo Sabres (19-15-2) at Pittsburgh Penguins (19-16-2) (The Sports Network)