The Pittsburgh Penguins laid down a marker by beating Stanley Cup holders the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2 on the opening night of the 2021 NHL season. Now the Penguins appear primed to keep momentum going when they face the Florida Panthers at the FLA Live Arena on Thursday.
The game (7 p.m. ET start time) will be televised on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh for those who live in the Penguins market, and Bally Sports Florida for those who live in the Panthers 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 Penguins vs Panthers in the US, which your options depending on where you live:
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If the Game is in Your Market
Note: This option is for viewers in the Penguins or Panthers markets
DirecTV Stream (formerly AT&T TV) has four different channel packages: “Entertainment,” “Choice,” “Ultimate” and “Premier.” AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh (live in local markets) and Bally Sports Florida (local markets) are included in “Choice” and up.
You can sign up right here:
Once signed up for DirecTV Stream, you can watch the Penguins vs Panthers 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).
Note: This option is for viewers in the Penguins market
You can watch a live stream of AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh (live in local markets) and 100-plus other live TV channels (TNT not included) on FuboTV, which comes with a free seven-day trial:
Once signed up for FuboTV, you can watch the Penguins vs Panthers live on the FuboTV app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One or Series X/S, Samsung TV, LG 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 FuboTV website.
If you can’t watch live, FuboTV also comes with 250 hours of cloud DVR space, as well as a 72-hour look-back feature, which allows you to watch most games on-demand within three days of their conclusion, even if you don’t record them.
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 Penguins vs Panthers (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.
Penguins vs Panthers Preview
Beating the back-to-back champions was quite the statement from the Penguins. It was made all the more impressive by the team being without talented centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. They are recovering from separate surgeries, but Brian Boyle proved a more than adequate replacement. The one-time Lightning center only earned his formal one-year contract on Tuesday, per Seth Rorabaugh of the Tribune-Review. Boyle punished his old team by scoring in the second period.
His fellow Penguins debutant, Danton Heinen, also helped himself to a goal. Heinen arrived from the Anaheim Ducks during the offseason, and he’ll be expected to carry the load in attack once again.
As well as Boyle and Heinen played, Pittsburgh’s real hero on Tuesday was goaltender Tristan Jarry. He frustrated Tampa Bay with a resolute performance that included 26 saves. The star showing represented quite the turnaround for Jarry, who averaged “3.5 goals-against” during last season’s playoffs.
Jarry may have to be even better than he was against the Lightning if he’s going to keep the Panthers’ top line quiet. Florida’s best attacking moves go through creative winger Jonathan Huberdeau and versatile captain Aleksander Barkov. The latter was recently rewarded with a new contract set to pay him $80 million over eight years. It’s a hefty fee, but one Joey Ganzi of The Hockey Writers believes Barkov more than deserves thanks to his consistent production, including 58 points in 50 games last season.
Barkov is the jewel in the crown for Panthers general manager Bill Zito, but Huberdeau is just as important in terms of influence and skill. The 28-year-old is coming off a 61-point campaign, during which he also scored five goals and assisted 19 more on the power play. Controlling Huberdeau will be the top priority for Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang, who remains a key figure at the back even at 34. He’ll be helped by having the stellar Brian Dumoulin next to him.
There’s plenty of experience along the blue line for the Penguins, and head coach Mike Sullivan will feel confident his team can nullify Barkov and Co. The same can’t be said for the Panthers’ defensive contingent. Most of the problems are in goal where neither Sergei Bobrovsky nor relatively untested Spencer Knight inspire much confidence. At least Florida can rely on MacKenzie Weegar to protect things and build possession from the top of defense. Weegar also registered a career-best 30 assists last season. He’ll keep the supply lines open to the marquee names in attack.
The Penguins know how to win, but there’s more star power along the Panthers’ top line, where Barkov and Huberdeau look set for banner campaigns. They can make this the game where the absence of Malkin and Crosby catches up with Pittsburgh.