The Tampa Bay Lightning’s bid for a three-peat of Stanley Cup trophies got off to a rocky start when the defending champions lost 6-2 at home to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. Now the Lightning can get their 2021 NHL season on track if they can rebound against the Detroit Red Wings at the Little Caesars Arena on Thursday.
The game (7:30 p.m. ET start time) will be televised on Bally Sports Sun for those who live in the Lightning market, and Bally Sports Detroit for those who live in the Red Wings market. It will also stream live on ESPN+ for everyone out of market in the United States.
Here’s a full rundown of how you can watch a live stream of the Lightning vs Red Wings in the US, with your options depending on where you live:
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If the Game is in Your Market
Note: This is the only streaming service that carries the Bally Sports regional sports networks
DirecTV Stream (formerly AT&T TV) has four different channel packages: “Entertainment,” “Choice,” “Ultimate” and “Premier.” Bally Sports Sun (live in local markets) and Bally Sports Detroit (local markets) are included in “Choice” and up.
You can sign up right here:
Once signed up for DirecTV Stream, you can watch the Lightning vs Red Wings live on the DirecTV Stream app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Samsung TV, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via the DirecTV Stream website.
If you can’t watch live, DirecTV Stream also comes with 20 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to 500 hours).
If the Game is out of Your Market
Viewers in the United States can watch every out-of-market, non-nationally televised NHL game (over 1,000 games total) on ESPN+, which replaces NHL.tv this season and is a must-have for any NHL fan:
ESPN+, which also includes about 75 exclusive national NHL games, plus dozens of other live sports, every 30-for-30 documentary in existence and additional original content (both video and written), costs $6.99 for a month or $69.99 for a year (or about seven cents per NHL game if you want to look at it that way).
If you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $13.99 per month. Separately, the three streaming services would cost a total $20.97 per month, so you’re saving about 33 percent:
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch the Lightning vs Red Wings (either team’s broadcast) live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4 or 5, Xbox One or Series X/S, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), Samsung Smart TV, Oculus Go, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet.
You can also watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
Lightning vs Red Wings Preview
If there was anything worth salvaging from the wreckage of opening night for Tampa Bay, it had to be the performance of center Anthony Cirelli. He scored one and provided an assist to help the Lightning stage a valiant but brief fightback in the third period. Cirelli’s brilliance was a rare bright spot, although captain Steven Stamkos also caught the eye with his creativity.
Stamkos and Cirelli can overwhelm a suspect Red Wings blue line. Detroit’s hope for stronger defensive play this season rest on new goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic. He’s being counted on for big things after arriving in an offseason trade with the Carolina Hurricanes. Nedeljkovic only allowed and average of 1.90 goals-against as a rookie last season, and he should get his angles right more often than predecessor Jonathan Bernier.
The Red Wings will need a strong effort from Nedeljkovic and those immediately in front of him because this team still looks light in attack. Head coach Jeff Blashill’s problems are compounded by new arrival Jakub Vrana beginning the campaign on injured reserve after undergoing shoulder surgery. Former Washington Capitals winger Vrana was expected to add creativity and a scoring touch, but as things stand, captain and center Dylan Larkin will need to shoulder the burden for the offense.
The Red Wings aren’t a team capable of matching the Lightning point for point. Not when Tampa Bay can also call on the scoring exploits of winger Nikita Kucherov and center Brayden Point. It was the latter who scored 23 goals last season, including six on the power play.
There isn’t a discernible weakness in this attack, but the Lightning’s real strength lies deeper. The defense is underpinned superbly by stubborn goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, while defenseman Victor Hedman is another key cog in this unit. It’s tough to believe Larkin and his line mates will conjure enough magic to trouble Tampa Bay at the back.
If the Red Wings have hope, it’ll come from how the Lightning missed Barclay Goodrow and veteran center Tyler Johnson. Both exerted major influence during last season’s playoffs but were traded during the offseason, with Goodrow joining the New York Rangers, while Johnson was dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Along with another key loss, Yanni Gourde, who joined the expansion Seattle Kraken, Goodrow and Johnson provided the Lightning with exceptional strength in depth no other team in the league could match. If, and it’s a big if, the Red Wings can control Tampa’s leading lights, Detroit could hang around long enough to produce a notable shock.
It’s more likely though, the defending champions quickly reset and begin asserting themselves as the firm favorites for another title.