Walt Disney Company announces 103 exclusive NHL games across its platforms

ESPN, ESPN+, Hulu and ABC will be chock full of hockey


For the first time since 2004, the NHL returns to The Walt Disney Company. ESPN’s industry-leading collection of television and direct-to-consumer streaming platforms will showcase the world’s top hockey league beginning with a season-opening doubleheader on October 12. The 2021-2022 season will showcase 103 exclusive regular season games across ESPN, ESPN+, Hulu and ABC. In addition, more than 1,000 out-of-market games will be available on ESPN+.

Beginning October 12, ESPN, ESPN+ and Hulu become the destination for Tuesday night hockey throughout the regular season. ESPN+ and Hulu will also showcase an exclusive game every Friday night until January, then every Thursday night for the remainder of the regular season. ABC will pitch in and regularly carry Saturday games beginning in February.

NHL FACEOFF (Opening Night - October 12)

The 2021 NHL FaceOff will feature a doubleheader matchup on ESPN with the early game showcasing the Pittsburgh Penguins against the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by the Seattle Kraken’s franchise debut against the Vegas Golden Knights at 10 p.m. ET. Both matchups will be simulcast on ESPN+.


Opening week on ESPN+ will feature the Minnesota Wild taking on the Anaheim Ducks on Friday, October 15. Momentum continues into the second week of the season beginning Tuesday, October 19, when the Colorado Avalanche and former first overall pick Nathan MacKinnon travel to the nation’s capital to take on Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. On Friday, October 22, the Boston Bruins will travel to Buffalo to take on the Sabres in a divisional matchup. A historic Saturday night in Seattle caps off the second week of the regular season on ESPN+ and Hulu when the Seattle Kraken take the ice in Climate Pledge Arena for the first time in franchise history against their border rivals, the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, October 23.

Each Tuesday in 2021, October 19 through December 28, ESPN+ will host at least one exclusive matchup with highlights including the Tampa Bay Lightning versus the St. Louis Blues on November 30, the New York Rangers versus the Colorado Avalanche on December 14, the Washington Capitals versus the Philadelphia Flyers on December 21 and the 2021 Stanley Cup Final rematch between the Montreal Canadiens and the Tampa Bay Lightning on December 28.

Additional Friday game highlights include the Colorado Avalanche versus the Seattle Kraken on November 19, the New York Rangers versus the Boston Bruins on November 26 and a Sidney Crosby-Alex Ovechkin matchup on December 10 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.

ESPN+ continues its premier slate in 2022 with Tuesday and Thursday night matchups through the remainder of the 2021-22 regular season. Highlights include: Colorado Avalanche at Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, January 4, Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, January 6, Washington Capitals at Boston Bruins on Thursday, January 20, Minnesota Wild at Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, March 8, and the new-look Florida Panthers with Joe Thornton take on the San Jose Sharks on March 15 as Thornton returns to San Jose after spending 15 seasons as a Shark. In a Thursday night doubleheader on March 24, the St. Louis Blues host the Philadelphia Flyers, followed by the Chicago Blackhawks taking on the Los Angeles Kings at the STAPLES Center.

In April, ESPN+ will feature the following match ups: Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers on Thursday, April 7, the Boston Bruins at St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, April 19, the Philadelphia Flyers at Chicago Blackhawks on Monday, April 25, as the only NHL game that day, and a Connor McDavid-Sidney Crosby showdown between the Edmonton Oilers and Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, April 26. The final game of the ESPN+ schedule will feature the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning taking on the New York Islanders on Thursday, April 28, in a rematch of the 2021 Stanley Cup Semifinals.

Additionally, ESPN+ will stream more than 1,000 out-of-market games, all as part of an ESPN+ subscription.

The Panthers on Hulu/ESPN+ (8 games)

October 29 at Detroit Red Wings

November 9 at New Jersey Devils

November 16 vs New York Islanders

February 1 at New York Rangers

February 1 vs Columbus Blue Jackets

March 15 at San Jose Sharks

March 17 at Vegas Golden Knights

April 21 vs Detroit Red Wings