The Washington Capitals will look to overcome the first-round playoff exit bug this season and return to Stanley Cup contention.
In 2021-22, most Capitals games will be televised in local markets on NBC Sports Washington, while some games will be nationally televised on NHL Network (usually out of market only, but those will also be on NBC Sports Washington), TNT or ESPN.
Additionally, every out-of-market game (and some nationally broadcast games) will also stream on ESPN+, which replaces NHL.tv this season.
Whether you live in the Capitals market or somewhere else in the United States, here’s a full rundown of the different ways you can watch every Capitals game live online without cable in 2021-22:
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If You’re in the Capitals Market
Note: A couple Capitals games this season will stream exclusively on ESPN+ nationally with no blackout for in-market viewers. The following options are for how to watch all other in-market games:
You can watch a live stream of NBC Sports Washington (local markets), ESPN, NHL Network and 100-plus other live TV channels (no TNT) on FuboTV. NBC Sports Washington and ESPN are included in the “Starter” package, while NHL Network can be added with either the “Extra” or “Sports Plus” add-on.
The base channel package and any add-ons can be included in your free seven-day trial:
Once signed up for FuboTV, you can watch Capitals games 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.
DirecTV Stream (formerly AT&T TV) has four different channel packages: “Entertainment,” “Choice,” “Ultimate” and “Premier.” ESPN and TNT are included in all of them, NBC Sports Washington (local markets) are in “Choice” and up, and NHL Network is in “Ultimate” and up.
This is the only streaming service with all of NBC Sports Washington, ESPN, TNT and NHL Network:
Once signed up for DirecTV Stream, you can watch Capitals games 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).
You can watch a live stream of NBC Sports Washington (local markets), ESPN, TNT and 65+ other TV channels (no NHL Network) via Hulu With Live TV, which comes with a free seven-day trial:
Once signed up for Hulu With Live TV, you can watch Capitals games live on the Hulu app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One or Series X/S, PlayStation 4 or 5, Nintendo Switch, 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 Hulu website.
If you can’t watch live, Hulu with Live TV also comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
If You’re out of the Capitals Market
You 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 in the United States:
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 every out-of-market Capitals game 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.
Capitals 2021-22 Season Preview
Washington endured its third-consecutive first-round playoff exit last season after going 36-15-5. That’s been reality for the Capitals since winning it all in the 2017-2018 season.
How soon star center Nicklas Backstrom will get healthy will play a big role in the team’s success. Backstrom landed on long-term injured reserve on Tuesday according to The Athletic.
The Capitals’ leading scorer from last season “will miss at least the first 10 games and 24 days of the regular season”, The Athletic reported. He tallied 53 points in 55 games last season. Backstrom’s hip injury lingered throughout training camp while rehabbing the injury per The Athletic.
“Part of a progression for him,” Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said according to the Associated Press via ESPN.com. “He’s working hard back here with the therapist to continue to improve on a daily basis.”
Washington will look to centers Lars Eller and rookie forward Hendrix Lapierre to step up according to The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashier. Eller scored eight goals and assisted on 15 in 44 games last season. Lapierre shined with Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team Chicoutimi Sagueneens, where he scored eight goals and assisted on 23 in 21 games for 2020-2021.
In Backstrom’s absence, it helps the Capitals return all of their seven top scorers.
Defenseman John Carlson scored 10 goals and assisted on 34 in addition to having a plu-minus score of -5 last season. Center T.J. Oshie scored 22 goals and assisted on 21. Left wing Alex Overchkin had 24 goals and 18 assists.
Overchkin may not play in Wednesday’s opener against the New York Rangers, however. He is dealing with a lower-body injury according to the Associated Press via ESPN.com.
Whenever Overchkin returns, he will have an easy shot at moving into the top five for all-time goal scorers this season. He sits at sixth with 730 behind Marcel Dionne’s 731.
Among Washington’s other top scorers returning, right wing Tom Wilson is coming off a 13-goal, 20-assist season. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov had nine goals and 20 assists. Defenseman Justin Schultz had 27 points and a plus-minus score of 12.
Washington’s success will largely ride on goalies Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek. Samsonov went 13-4-0 last season with a .902 save percentage and 2.69 goals allowed average. Vanecek posted a 21-10-4 record, a .908 save percentage, and a 2.69 goals allowed average.
Getting through the Metropolitan Division won’t be a cake walk for the Capitals. The New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, and Pittsburgh Penguins all have strong steams. The New York Rangers could return to playoff form this season, and the Philadelphia Flyers can’t be counted out.
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