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How to watch the NHL on ESPN Plus

NHL on ESPN Plus
(Image credit: ESPN)

The 2021-2022 NHL season will drop the puck officially on Oct. 12, at which time ESPN and TNT will become the new official broadcast homes of the league following hockey’s long run on NBC. The two networks will air numerous games for national audiences on their flagship channels, but they are also pushing the sport into new territory with streaming, especially ESPN with its streaming service, ESPN Plus.

ESPN Plus has been around for a few years now, offering original sports programming as well as exclusive coverage of live sporting events, including college football, UFC fights and even, prior to this year, some out-of-market NHL games. The streaming service’s investment in hockey is about to increase exponentially though.

The cable sports network has announced that ESPN Plus (in tandem with Hulu) will stream 75 exclusive national games throughout the NHL season. This will include streams every Tuesday and Friday in 2021, and then starting in January every Tuesday and Thursday, with some limited games on Fridays. Among the headlining games will be the home opener for the NHL’s newest team, the Seattle Kraken.

In addition, ESPN Plus will stream more than 1,000 out-of-market games, with the option to select either the home or away team’s broadcast, included at no extra cost to ESPN Plus subscribers. ESPN Plus will also simulcast nationally televised games on ABC and the Oct. 12 season-opening double-header on ESPN. All national games on TNT and the NHL Network, meanwhile, will be available for replay on ESPN Plus.

So that’s what’s in store for this NHL season via ESPN Plus, but how can hockey fans watch it?

How to watch the NHL on ESPN Plus

ESPN Plus is a subscription streaming service that currently costs $6.99 per month or $69.99 with a full year commitment. As we said, the sports-centric streaming service provides a bevy of live sports as well as original programming from ESPN. ESPN Plus is also included in the Disney streaming bundle, which combines Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu for a single monthly fee of $13.99. FYI, ESPN Plus does not offer a free trial at this time. 

Once you’ve signed up for your ESPN Plus subscription, you can stream all of its content via a computer; Roku; Amazon Fire TV; Xfinity devices; Samsung or other smart TVs; Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles; PlayStation 4 and 5; Apple products; Android phones, tablets and TVs; Google Chromecast; via the Hulu app; and even an Oculus Go. Consumers can also AirPlay ESPN Plus onto their TVs.

As far as then watching NHL games, they will appear in the streaming service when they are available. All you have to do is click on the game you want to watch, sit back and enjoy all the action.

One thing to note with the out-of-market games that will be available on ESPN Plus, they will still be subject to local blackout rules. You can check out what games are blacked out in your market with the NHL Blackout Detector.

NHL games exclusively on ESPN Plus (and Hulu) 

Here is the entire schedule for exclusive ESPN Plus NHL games for the 2021-2022 season (all times eastern).

Oct. 15
Minnesota Wild at Anaheim Ducks, 10 p.m.

Oct. 19
Colorado Avalanche at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m

Oct. 22
Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m.
Los Angeles Kings at Dallas Stars, 8:30 p.m.

Oct. 23
Vancouver Canucks at Seattle Kraken, 10 p.m.

Oct. 26
San Jose Sharks at Nashville Predators, 8:30 p.m.

Oct. 29
Florida Panthers at Detroit Red Wings, 7 p.m.

Nov. 2
New Jersey Devils at Anaheim Ducks, 10 p.m.
Buffalo Sabres at San Jose Sharks, 10:30 p.m

Nov. 5
Arizona Coyotes at Anaheim Ducks, 10 p.m.
New Jersey Devils at Los Angeles Kings, 10:30 p.m.

Nov. 9
Florida Panthers at New Jersey Devils, 7 p.m.
Seattle Kraken at Vegas Golden Knights, 10 p.m.

Nov. 12
Edmonton Oilers at Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m.
Arizona Coyotes at Chicago Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m.

Nov. 16
New York Islanders at Florida Panthers, 7 p.m.
Detroit Red Wings at Dallas Stars, 8:30 p.m.

Nov. 19
Colorado Avalanche at Seattle Kraken, 10 p.m.

Nov. 23
Edmonton Oilers at Dallas Stars, 8:30 p.m.

Nov. 26
New York Rangers at Boston Bruins, 3:30 p.m.
New Jersey Devils at Nashville Predators, 6 p.m.

Nov. 30
San Jose Sharks at New Jersey Devils, 7 p.m.
Tampa Bay Lightning at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m.

Dec. 3
Vegas Golden Knights at Arizona Coyotes, 9:30 p.m.

Dec. 7
Nashville Predators at Detroit Red Wings, 7 p.m
Anaheim Ducks at Buffalo Sabres, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 10
Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m.
Nashville Predators at New Jersey Devils, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 14
Carolina Hurricanes at Minnesota Wild, 8 p.m.
New York Rangers at Colorado Avalanche, 9 p.m.

Dec. 17
Dallas Stars at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m.
Arizona Coyotes at Anaheim Ducks, 10 p.m.

Dec. 21
Washington Capitals at Philadelphia Flyers, 7 p.m.
Arizona Coyotes at Seattle Kraken, 10 p.m.

Dec. 28
Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 p.m.
Arizona Coyotes at San Jose Sharks, 10 p.m.

Jan. 4
Colorado Avalanche at Chicago Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m.
New York Islanders at Seattle Kraken, 10 p.m.

Jan. 6
Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers, 7 p.m.

Jan. 11
Detroit Red Wings at San Jose Sharks, 10:30 p.m.

Jan. 13
Columbus Blue Jackets at Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m

Jan. 17
Montreal Canadiens at Arizona Coyotes, 4 p.m.

Jan. 18
Columbus Blue Jackets at New York Islanders, 7 p.m

Jan. 20
Washington Capitals at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m.

Jan. 25
Dallas Stars at New Jersey Devils, 7 p.m.
Nashville Predators at Seattle Kraken, 10 p.m.

Jan. 27
Los Angeles Kings at New York Islanders, 7 p.m.

Feb. 1
Florida Panthers at New York Rangers, 7 p.m
Buffalo Sabres at Vegas Golden Knights, 10 p.m.

Feb. 24
Columbus Blue Jackets at Florida Panthers, 7 p.m.

March 1
New Jersey Devils at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7 p.m.

March 4
Minnesota Wild at Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m.

March 7
Toronto Maples Leafs at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7:30 p.m.

March 8
Arizona Coyotes at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m.

March 10
Minnesota Wild at Detroit Red Wings, 7 p.m.
Anaheim Ducks at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m.

March 15
Florida Panthers at San Jose Sharks, 10:30 p.m.

March 17
San Jose Sharks at Los Angeles Kings, 10 p.m.
Florida Panthers at Vegas Golden Knights, 10:30 p.m.

March 22
Nashville Predators at Los Angeles Kings, 10:30 p.m.

March 24
Philadelphia Flyers at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m.
Chicago Blackhawks at Los Angeles Kings, 10 p.m.

March 25
Seattle Kraken at Anaheim Ducks, 10 p.m.

March 29
Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 p.m.

March 31
Columbus Blue Jackets at New York Islanders, 7 p.m

April 5
Carolina Hurricanes at Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m.
Minnesota Wild at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m

April 7
Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers, 7 p.m.
Buffalo Sabres at Carolina Hurricanes, 7:30 p.m.

April 14
Detroit Red Wings at Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m

April 19
Boston Bruins at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m.

April 21
Detroit Red Wings at Florida Panthers, 7 p.m.

April 25
Philadelphia Flyers at Chicago Blackhawks, 8 p.m.

April 26
Edmonton Oilers at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 p.m.

April 28
Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Islanders, 7 p.m. 

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.