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Sources: Pens to play outdoors in Buffalo

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Saturday, Aug. 25, 2007

The Penguins will start 2008 in cool style by playing an outdoor game in Buffalo on New Year's Day.

Several NHL officials confirmed Friday that the scheduled game between the Penguins and Sabres on Jan. 1 will be played at Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the NFL's Bills.

In a made-for-television event -- the game will air nationally on NBC -- the Penguins and Sabres will skate on an outdoor rink in front of what officials hope will be the largest audience to watch an NHL game in the United States.

Neither the league nor NBC would talk specifics on the tentatively titled "Ice Bowl," which is scheduled to be played at 1 p.m. An official announcement is expected Sept. 10, prior to the start of training camps.

"If and when we have something to announce, we will make sure the announcement gets heard," NHL vice president of media relations Frank Brown said.

The Penguins had no comment about their involvement in an outdoor game.

The league previously approached the Penguins about possibly playing host to the outdoor game, but the team declined, so it could focus on planning for its new arena. The Penguins told the league they would participate as a visiting team.

This will mark the league's second attempt an outdoor game.

The Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers played in "The Heritage Classic" on Nov. 22, 2003, at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium. That contest was played in sub-freezing temperatures but wasn't televised live in the United States.

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