Are you excited for the the return of hockey? The 2021 NHL Season begins on the 12th of October with defending Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay Lightning taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hockey fans outside of the U.S. or Canada might have trouble accessing the season opener due to regional blocks.
Thankfully, a VPN can make ensure you don’t miss a single second of the action. Here’s how a VPN can help you unblock websites and stream the game:
- Choose and subscribe to a fast and reliable VPN. We recommend picking NordVPN to stream the NHL Season Opener.
- Download the VPN app onto the device you plan to watch the hockey game.
- Open the app and install it by following the instructions on the screen.
- Connect to a server in the U.S., or any other country, depending on your stream.
- Open your stream provider and find the game.
It is the time ice hockey fans around the world have been eagerly waiting for: the 2021-22 NHL Season begins on the 12th of October! The opening game will see back-to-back Stanley Cup winners Tampa Bay Lightning face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7:30 pm (EST).
Fans will be thrilled to learn that the NHL plans to return to a full 82-game regular season, spanning from October 2021 to April 2022. Last year, each team only played 56 regular-season games due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The NHL has also added a new team to the mix, the Seattle Kraken, expanding the league to 32 teams. The Kraken will compete in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference.
Ice hockey fans can watch the new team in action in the second game of the opening night, as the Seattle Kraken will be welcomed into the league by the Vegas Golden Knights on October 12th at 10:00 pm (EST).
How to Livestream the 2021-22 NHL Season Opener
For the first time since 2004, ESPN is the home of the NHL. In fact, ESPN has exclusive rights over the opening night games in the U.S., as well as out-of-market games. ESPN+ gives fans access to over 1000 out-of-market games and 75 exclusive games. A monthly subscription will cost users $6.99 a month, whereas a one-time yearly subscription costs $69.99.
Fans in Canada can stream the NHL season opener on the Sportsnet NOW streaming platform. The service is priced at $11.95 per month or $119.55 for the year.
List of channels and websites that broadcast the NHL
- Brazil: ESPN BR
- Canada: CBC, Sportsnet, and NHL Live
- France: Canal+
- Germany, Austria, and Switzerland: Sport 1
- The Netherlands: Fox Sports
- Scandinavia, the Baltic States, and parts of Eastern Europe: Viasat Sport
- United Kingdom: Premier Sports
- United States: ESPN, ABC, TBS, TNT, HBO Max, NHL Network
How to Watch the NHL Season Opener when Abroad
Ice hockey fans outside of North America who are eager to watch the NHL 2021-22 Season Opener might face some trouble streaming the game. NHL broadcasters apply geo-restrictions to prevent people from streaming games outside of North America. For fans based outside of the U.S. or Canada, this means you might be geo-blocked even if you are an ESPN+ subscriber.
Thankfully, a VPN can help you overcome this restriction and seamlessly stream the NHL opening game! It does so by changing your IP address and routing your internet activity through a server in a different country. That way, even if you are traveling or live outside North America, you can use a VPN to easily access high-quality streams in the U.S. or Canada.
Below is an easy guide on how to set up a VPN and watch the NHL 2021-22 season opener.
Easy guide on how to watch the NHL Season Opener: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
- Purchase a subscription to a premium VPN provider. NordVPN is fast, user-friendly, and has a vast network of U.S. servers, which makes it a great choice to stream the NHL Season Opener.
- Excellent protection and a large network of servers
- Nice and pleasing application
- No logs
- Go to the VPN provider’s website and download the app for your operating system. NordVPN works on all major operating systems, including Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and iOS.
- Install the app. You can do so by simply following the instructions provided on the screen.
- Open the app and choose a server based on where your stream is located. To stream on ESPN+, you will need to connect to a U.S. server.
- Once connected, simply go to your preferred streaming service’s website or app and log in with your credentials.
- Find the NHL Season Opener stream, sit back, and take in what promises to be an exciting start to the 2021-22 season!
Can I use a free VPN to stream the NHL Season Opener?
A question that may come to mind is: can I use a free VPN instead? Many of you may have come across free VPN providers. They claim to offer the functionality of a paid VPN without the cost.
It’s clear why this would seem appealing. Unfortunately, when it comes to streaming sports content, free VPNs are not a great choice. Here’s why they aren’t ideal for an event like the NHL Season Opener:
- Free VPNs tend to offer lower speeds compared to premium VPNs. This affects the quality of the stream, which could lead to a sub-par game-day viewing experience.
- They offer a limited set of servers to choose from. Also, the servers are often from the same country, which means you can only access a limited number of streams.
- Many free VPNs impose data limits. This means that their services tend to drop off after these limits are exceeded. This makes them ill-suited for watching events like NHL games.
These are the key reasons why we don’t recommend using a free VPN to watch the NHL Season Opener. However, if you would still like to use one, you can check out our rankings of the best truly free VPNs in 2021 to decide which one is most suitable for you.
If you’re only looking to get a VPN to stream the NHL Season Opener, you should consider using NordVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee to get a free trial of their service. This way you can cancel your subscription after the event without losing any money.
Journey to the Stanley Cup Begins Now
The opening night kicks off what promises to be an exciting season of ice hockey. According to the NHL power rankings, the defending champs Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche are the teams to look out for. In fact, the Colorado Avalanche is the early season betting favorite to win the Stanley Cup!
Fans will also be eager to see how Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers perform this season. McDavid had an otherworldly 2020-21 season, where he put up 105 points in 56 games and clearly established himself as the best player in the world. Many believe McDavid can hit 150 points this time around, as long as he can stay healthy.
The NHL playoffs are scheduled to begin on 2nd May 2022, with the Stanley Cup expected to be awarded in June 2022.