The Florida Panthers ended a five-year playoff drought last season and look to do more this year.
In 2021-22, most Panthers games will be televised in local markets on Bally Sports Florida, while some games will be nationally televised on NHL Network (usually out of market only, but those will also be on Bally Sports Florida), 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 Panthers market or somewhere else in the United States, here’s a full rundown of the different ways you can watch every Panthers game live online without cable in 2021-22:
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If You’re in the Panthers Market
Note: A couple Panthers games this season will stream exclusively on ESPN+ nationally with no blackout for in-market viewers. The following option is for how to watch all other in-market games:
This is the only streaming service that has Bally Sports Florida
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, Bally Sports Florida (local markets) is in “Choice” and up, and NHL Network is in “Ultimate” and up.
You can sign up right here:
Once signed up for DirecTV Stream, you can watch Panthers 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).
If You’re out of the Panthers 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 Panthers 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.
Panthers Season Preview 2021-22
Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad returns from injury, and the Panthers have numerous pieces back from last spring’s playoff team.
“We know we have a good team. We have a good chance. I think it doesn’t matter on paper if we look better than last year. We’ve got to do it on the ice,” Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau said according to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press via the Sun Sentinel.
Ekblad got injured in March before the playoffs and missed the rest of the season. He had a plus-minus score of five along with 11 goals and 11 assists last season.
Huberdrea, the Panthers’ leading scorer last season, had 20 goals and 41 assists. Aleksander Barkov, the team’s second leading scorer last season, returns after a 26-goal, 32-assist campaign.
The Panthers return all six of their top scorers overall from last season’s playoff team. That includes the re-signings of forwards Anthony Duclair and Carter Verhaeghe. Florida also re-signed forward Sam Bennett, who had 15 points in 10 games last season.
More offensive firepower came the Panthers way in acquiring forwards Joe Thornton and Sam Reinhart. Thornton, 42, is only two years removed from a 51-point season with the San Jose Sharks. Reinhart had a 40-point season with the Buffalo Sabres last season before the team traded him to Florida.
With additions and talent back, the Panthers figure to have one of the better power play units in the NHL according to Joey Ganzi of The Hockey Writers.
Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky returns after going 19-8-0 last season with a .906 save percentage and 2.19 goals allowed average. The Panthers also have a promising young backup goalie in Spencer Knight, who could compete for ice time. Knight, 20, went 4-0-0 with a .919 save percentage and 2.32 goals allowed average in four games played.
Bobrovsky’s salary cap hit, $10 million, and former back goalie Chris Driedger getting starts instead could lead to Knight seeing more opportunities according to NBC Sports’ Sean Leahy.
Florida has two tough stretches with long road trips later in the season, which could make a big difference in how the season shakes out, Reynolds noted. The Panthers play seven road games between Jan. 18 and Feb. 1 and then another nine on the road March 7-27.
Last season, the Panthers surprisingly went 37-14-5 for 79 points, the best record in franchise history. They were on a 116-point pace for a full season of hockey, The Athletic’s Dom Luszczyszyn noted.
Repeating that feat will get more challenging with the return to the regular division after last season’s special set up. The Atlantic Division boasts elite teams in the Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Toronto Maple Leafs.
“You’re going to have to have a heck of a year just to make the playoffs,” Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville said per Reynolds.
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