Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Even though the television schedule for the 2021-22 NHL regular-season has yet to be released, ESPN says on its website that the Washington Capitals’ season opener against the New York Rangers on Wednesday, October 13 will be shown on TNT (7:30 PM ET).
There were plenty of fireworks between the two teams last season as they combined for six fighting majors in the first 4:14 in their most recent meeting on May 5 at Madison Square Garden. Two nights earlier, Capitals right wing Tom Wilson pumbled left wing Pavel Buchnevich and right-wing Artemi Panarin down to the ice in the Capitals’ 5-3 win at Madison Square Garden, which he got fined $5,000 for. Neither Buchnevich, who was traded to the St. Louis Blues this offseason, nor Panarin played again after that.
This offseason, the Rangers added 6’2”, 255-pound right wing Ryan Reaves from the Vegas Golden Knights; 6’2″, 203-pound left wing Barclay Goodrow from the Tampa Bay Lightning; 6’2″, 205-pound left wing Sammy Blais from the Blues (in addition to a second-round pick); and 6’6″, 205-pound defenseman Jarred Tinordi, all known for their toughness in response to Wilson pushing them around.
The website has not released the entire television schedule for this season but it did leak that the defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lighting’s season opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena will be broadcasted on ESPN the day before (7:30 PM ET) as will the Seattle Kraken’s inaugural game against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena afterwards (10 PM ET).
After the Capitals-Rangers game, TNT will show the reigning Presidents’ Trophy-winning Colorado Avalanche’s season opener against the Chicago Blackhawks in goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury’s debut with his new team (10 PM ET).
The only other leaks ESPN had to the NHL regular-season television schedule was for games on Wednesday, October 20, when the Boston Bruins visit the Philadelphia Flyers (7:30 PM ET, TNT) and the Blues take on the Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena (10 PM ET).
Expect ESPN and Turner Sports, who earned the league’s television rights for the next seven seasons last March, to release their television schedules for the 2021-22 NHL season in the near future.