They say Lightning never strikes the same place twice, but after beating the Montreal Canadiens in five games in July, Tampa Bay could become the first team to pull off a three-peat since the New York Islanders, who won four in a row from 1980 to '83. Read on as we explain how to watch an NHL live stream online wherever you are for every game of the 2021/22 season.
Dates: October 12 - June 2022
Defending champions: Tampa Bay Lightning
Live stream: ESPN, TNT, TBS, ABC via Sling TV discount (opens in new tab) / ESPN Plus (US) | SN NOW+ (opens in new tab) / NHL Live (opens in new tab) (CA) | Premier Sports (opens in new tab) (UK) | ESPN (opens in new tab) / Kayo Sports FREE trial (opens in new tab) (AU)
Watch anywhere: try the world's best VPN 100% risk-free (opens in new tab)
After two consecutive shortened campaigns, the NHL returns to its traditional format, albeit with a midseason break for the Winter Olympics. Though the addition of expansion franchise the Seattle Kraken promises to make this the biggest season ever, with 32 teams each playing 82 regular season games!
The Buffalo Sabres made defenceman Owen Power the first overall pick in the draft, the Canadian teenager adding his considerable weight behind the franchise's efforts to slake the league's longest ongoing post-season drought.
The Pittsburgh Penguins, meanwhile, have their work cut out extending their 15-season playoff streak, with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin missing the start of the season, and likely more than just a few games.
And, of course, Alex Ovechkin's steady march towards Wayne Gretzky's 894-goal record is the subplot we're all going to be following week by week.
Read on for details on how to get a NHL live stream and watch hockey online for every game of the new 2021/22 season, no matter where you are in the world right now.
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How to watch NHL blackout games and more with a VPN
Whether you’re watching hockey online or on TV, blackouts can be especially annoying as you won’t be able to watch your local games, and you won't be able to tune in at all when you’re out of the country.
A VPN will allow you to change your IP address so that you appear to be in a completely different location where the game you want to watched isn't blacked out, and let you access the content and services you already pay for back home no matter where you are.
VPNs are ridiculously easy to set up and use and aren't just for watching sports from abroad - they're also a great first line of defence for your online activity and many people use them to get around other geo-blocked websites or to access foreign Netflix content.
We’ve tested hundreds of VPNs and can recommend ExpressVPN as the very best VPN currently available.
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We've put all the major VPNs through their paces and we rate ExpressVPN as our top pick, thanks to its speed, ease of use and strong security features.
It's also compatible with just about any streaming device out there, including Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox and PlayStation, as well as Android and Apple mobiles.
Sign up for an annual plan now and get an extra 3 months absolutely FREE (opens in new tab). And if you change your mind within the first 30 days, let them know and they'll give you your money back without a quibble.
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Once you've chosen and installed your VPN of choice, simply open the service's corresponding app, hit 'choose location', select the appropriate country and you'll be able to watch the broadcast as if you were back at home.
NHL live stream 2021/22: how to watch every game in the US
It's all change for the 2021/22 NHL season, with NHL.tv being retired in the US and fresh deals agreed with new broadcasters.
If you plan to watch your favorite hockey team compete this season, you'll need access to a number of different services, including ESPN, ESPN Plus, ABC, TNT, TBS - and your local RSN if you're a fan of a particular team.
If you've got cable, none of this will be a problem and in most cases you'll be able to get an NHL live stream by navigating to the relevant broadcaster's website and logging in with your details.
If you've cut the cord, covering all your bases can be tricky, but there are two quality streaming services that we'd recommend to NHL fans that should meet most people's needs.
The best way to watch NHL without cable in 2021/22
If you only want to watch the biggest games and are less concerned about RSN coverage, you can watch the NHL online for less with great value OTT streaming service Sling TV (opens in new tab).
The Sling Orange (opens in new tab) package costs just $35 a month and gets you ESPN, TNT, and TBS. This package will give you an NHL live stream for nearly 100 nationally televised games, with ABC coverage available via simulcasts on ESPN3, which is included on the plan.
Better still, Sling is offering new subscribers a fantastic bargain - right now you can save big bucks with this Sling TV deal, which lets you get a whole month of Sling Orange for a mere $10 (opens in new tab).
Unlike cable, you can cancel your subscription at any time - though bear in mind that Sling's RSN offering is slightly limited.
The cheapest way to live stream NHL without cable
75 games are also being live streamed exclusively on the ESPN Plus (opens in new tab) service, which is essentially the NHL.tv replacement.
A subscription to the streaming service only costs $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually, and allows you to watch online as well as via its mobile app and TV streamer apps on the likes of Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, PS4 and Xbox. It's also Chromecast-compatible.
How to watch NFL games from abroad
Don't forget, you can take your favorite NFL streaming coverage with you wherever you are with the help of a good VPN - try the best around, ExpressVPN 100% risk-free for 30-days (opens in new tab).
How to watch the NHL: live stream 2021/22 hockey games online in Canada
As in the US, coverage is split between a number of channels and their corresponding streaming services. Primarily, you'll need access to Rodgers-owned Sportsnet and NHL Live, while some games will also be aired by TSN, TVA Sports, RDS and CBC.
If you've got these channels on cable, simply head to the relevant website and you should be able to log-in to a live stream with details of your provider.
If you’ve already cut the cord, you can still watch the bulk of the 2021 NHL action online. Sportsnet offers a streaming-only service in the form of Sportsnet NOW (opens in new tab).
The premium tier of the service, SN NOW+, costs $34.99 per month or $249.99 annually. You can also sign up for regular SN NOW for $14.99 per month or $149.99 per year - but regional blackouts do apply, whereas SN NOW+ only has limited blackouts.
A subscription to SN NOW+ also includes Canada’s NHL.tv equivalent, NHL Live (opens in new tab), which gets you out-of-market games for every NHL team as well as games nationally televised in Canada.
Otherwise, a season-long NHL Live subscription is available until October 11 for $179.99, after which it'll cost $199.99.
If you're unable to watch the game you want due to geo-blocking restrictions, remember that a VPN is all you need (opens in new tab) to tune back in to your preferred NHL coverage wherever you are.
How to watch NHL: live stream ice hockey in the UK
Premier Sports (opens in new tab) is the best place to watch the NHL in the UK, with the network showing at least 10 games from every round of the action on Premier Sports 1 and 2, as well as sister channel FreeSports.
It's available for £12.99 a month through Sky or Virgin Media, and there's also a streaming-only option available, Premier Player, costing £12.99 for the full works including La Liga (opens in new tab) TV and BoxNation.
Fans can also live stream the action through NHL.tv (opens in new tab), which is available for US$14.99 per month or US$99.99 for the season, though bear in mind that any games being shown by Premier Sports are subject to blackouts.
Not in the UK right now? As outlined above, a good VPN is all you need (opens in new tab) to enjoy all the coverage you normally would at home.
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How to watch NHL online: live stream 2020/21 ice hockey in Australia
For Australian ice hockey fans, ESPN (opens in new tab) is your home for all things NHL this season.
ESPN and ESPN 2, which are available through Foxtel, are showing at least two games live each week, but you can live stream every single game of the season via the ESPN App (opens in new tab).
Games shown on the ESPN TV channels will also be live streamed on the dedicated sports platform Kayo Sports (opens in new tab) .
A favourite of cord-cutters in Australia, Kayo offers the NHL alongside its wide array of international sports coverage, which also includes the NBA and NFL.
The streaming service has a Basic and a Premium plan, with the difference being you can watch on two devices with the Basic plan for $25 per month and on three devices with the Premium plan for $35 per month, and both come with a FREE 14-day trial (opens in new tab).
Don't forget that using a VPN (opens in new tab) can help you tune in to all your favourite sports and streaming services from all over the world.