The two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning will begin their quest for a three-peat on Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins to open up the 2021-22 NHL season. The Lightning will hold their Stanley Cup banner raising ceremony prior to the game, which will take place at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. Puck drop is expected at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
The game will be nationally broadcast on ESPN in the U.S., and TVA Sports and Sportsnet in Canada. If you aren’t around a TV, you can stream the game via WatchESPN or the ESPN app. But keep in mind — you’ll need a subscription to ESPN+. You can subscribe to ESPN+ on the ESPN website, where you can get a monthly subscription for $5.99, or get the ESPN/Disney/Hulu bundle for $13.99 per month.
The Bolts went 3-4 during preseason play as they enter another title defense. The roster is generally in tact since last year’s Cup run. The key losses from last season include forwards Blake Coleman, Yanni Gourde and Tyler Johnson. The core is still around in Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Victor Hedman. Plus, reigning Conn Smythe trophy winning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.
The Pens are in a weird spot in the Crosby-Malkin era. While Crosby is under contract through the next four seasons, Malkin is not. His deal is up after this season and it’s unclear what the future holds. Malkin could re-sign, the team could trade him before the deadline or he could bolt the League completely for the KHL. Pittsburgh’s roster continues to get old and weaker each season. It’s getting to a point where a rebuild may be coming soon.